Chocolate, the one thing that is very hard to resist.
I go into a store and my eyes dart to the shelves displaying fancy brands as well as the store brands which let’s face it, isn’t that different from the expensive ones.
It has been very difficult for me as a chocolate lover to make up my mind about letting go of my favorite brands. But when child labor is involved, it can’t be that hard.
As a black woman from West Africa, it’s very heartbreaking to visualize kids that look like me, kids that could be me being put under dangerous conditions to produce chocolate for the world. A world that doesn’t even think about them.
You bite into a Snickers or Bounty bar and feel that heavenly Gefühl orbiting through your body and your soul. You feel fulfilled having spent 2€ on a bar of greatness.
But do you ever think of the six year old kids who have to work hard hours daily on cocoa farms for just 2$?
My research isn’t extensive but I was able to find out the five brands (thank you Google) that support child slavery to grow their business and while I’m not shocked about four, one did surprise me.
It’s a known fact that Nestlé doesn’t really care much about humanity or protecting it. They are all about making loads of money. While I can’t fault anyone for wanting to build their business or bank accounts, what’s the good in selling your integrity to reach a goal?
We have been Nestlé free at home for a while now and yes it has been very difficult to do this because they basically own a ton of household products. But we still manage to not spend our money on Nestlé products. On my most recent trip to the UK, I accidentally bought a jar of instant coffee from Sainstbury recommended by the friend I was visiting. Getting home I realized I had just spent my money on a Nestlé product. I was going to return it but she never got the time to drive back and tossing it out defeats the purpose of boycotting a brand since they already have my cash.
I am a huge fan of Mars and Twix. I could eat a whole six pack of Twix in one day and not feel guilty about the pounds I was packing on. But ever since discovering that they indulge in child labor, I haven’t spent a cent on one. They do however acknowledge and accept their wrong doing and have claimed that by 2020, they would wash their hands off child slavery. Apparently cocoa farms need time to establish. But in the mean time, let’s suffer these kids, pay them 2 dollars for all y’alls favorite candy bars.
Ever since I first tasted Godiva, I knew that goodness was something I needed constantly in my life. As an adult, I never bought a box because I found it a tad expensive so I was already boycotting them for their price tag. Reading that they are involved in child slavery wasn’t hard to understand why their price tags were so. 93€ for a box of almond candy bars? 7€ for a small pack of chocolate? Yet young kids are forced to work with dangerous equipment for as little as 2$.
I’m not very familiar with this brand like I am with Bounty and Snickers or the rest. But they are well known for their sponge chocolate and although they have denied child slavery involvement, their famous brand is in fact made using cocoa from ivory coast, which is one of the popular west African destinations for cocoa and child labour/slavery.
Learning about the nonchalance of my favorite brand on child labor shocked me to my core and I tossed out all the Hershey’s kisses in my Kühlschrank. As I watched the little cuteness fall noisily into the trash can, I realized I had just become like the men and women in America who were burning their Nike shoes in response to Nike using Kaepernick as the face of their anniversary celebration. But in retrospect, it just means that I may have bought it unknowingly, but realizing babies harvested the cocoa used to make it stopped me from eating it.
We live in a world were a president can come on national TV and call other peoples home a shit hole country. Yet these countries provide raw materials for the survival of racist countries.
If every single one of us decided to stop buying brands that support child labor, it would make a whole lof of difference.
It would be interesting to interview the families whose kids get taken into the cocoa farms at such tender ages, to talk to the kids and know how they feel about having to become adults at six years old, having to forfeit education to bring ignorant joy to the taste buds of educated people. To show them that what is being done to them is not right.
If you are about to bite into any candy bar, ask yourself where the cocoa used to make it came from. Find out what the brand is about and their stance on child slavery.
Don’t just walk in and pick up a bar for a quick hunger fix cos chances are that the little baby boy whose hands worked the bar you are about to eat can’t even afford that one bar.
Of course raising the pay isn’t going to make a difference. The difference would be to stop using kids. That’s the whole point of ending child slavery. Get actual adults to work your farms and pay them the actual fee you would pay the next person if the farms were located in Europe or America. And I don’t mean the shit einkommen given to immigrants who would work hard and long hours for crap pay.
Leave African kids alone. Leave them alone. Let them enjoy what your white kids get easily… Being kids. Stop forcing them to work heavy duty machines and machetes that could actually kill them. They aren’t made for this. A woman in an ivory coast village isn’t getting pregnant for y’all to take her baby and put him to work. It is wrong and should be punishable by law.
Why are the governments of these countries even letting this evil occur? What are they doing to stop colonizers from destroying the very foundation of their future?