World Day Against Child Labour is observed on June 12.
The chocolate industry is notorious for its use of child labour. In West Africa alone – where about 2/3rds of the world’s cocoa supply originates – it’s estimated there are more than 2 million children engaged in child labour.
Despite large companies pledging to remove child labour from their supply chain almost 20 years ago, the likelihood of you buying unethical chocolate remains substantial.
The UN’s World Day Against Child Labour aims to raise awareness, with the ultimate goal of completely eradicating child labour (forced or otherwise). But awareness alone won’t solve the issue.
It comes back to consumers (you!) making the choice to only buy from companies that can trace their entire supply chain.
Image: Fairtrade International logo.
Property of Fairtrade International. All rights reserved.
As we know, the Fairtrade mark is one way you can ensure you’re buying ethical. Fairtrade products such as Fair Drinking Chocolate, incorporate two important factors which ensure the sustainability of production.
Firstly, the Fairtrade ‘minimum price’ guarantees farmers receive a fair price for their produce, regardless of the market circumstances at the time. This is especially important for fresh produce farmers, as the market is extremely volatile.
Second, the ‘Fairtrade Premium’ is an additional sum paid to farmer co-ops for the betterment of their whole community. Since its introduction, this premium has helped to build medical facilities and schools, fund workshops, and purchase new, efficient machinery and tools.
The Fairtrade certification is a rigorous and continuous process that constantly monitors farmer members to ensure their practices meet the stringent standards. When you buy chocolate with the Fairtrade mark, you can be sure you’re not supporting child labour, and that the farmers who produced it have been paid fairly.
One such member is the CONACADO cooperative, which is where we source our cocoa. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, CONACADO became Fairtrade certified in 2009, and has been producing top-quality cocoa ever since. You can read more about their story here.
So, do your part to end child labour, and buy only Fairtrade certified chocolate!