Thursday, October 23, 2008

Big Chocolate, Just Say "Yes!"

Alrighty, so here is the first project of this blog. Yay!

The West African countries of Ghana and then Ivory Coast produce some 70% of the world’s cocoa. Most of the farms operate on the backs of slave labour. People are brought over, or trafficked, from neighbouring countries to work in the Ghana and Ivory Coast cocoa plantations. It is estimated that more than 284,000 children in West African cocoa farms work under the ‘worst forms of child labour’. So these kids work long and hard hours, deal with tools like machetes and they are often exposed to dangerous chemicals and pesticides.
The main problem is that world cocoa costs are far below the cost of production, meaning that the farmers have a lot less money. Farmers are often driven to employ trafficked labour and children because they are readily available and a cheap source of labour, if they are paid at all.
So who’s to blame? Well the Farmers are at the beginning, they get little pay for their extreme efforts to farm the little land they own. With no way to check global pricings, they are completely at the mercy of their cocoa buyer. The Ghana and Ivory Coast Governments are doing the little they can with the resources and little money that they have. The will to end the slavery and exploited labour in their country is there, they just lack the resources and money they need to do so. The Chocolate Companies ultimately get their massive profits from the kids at the bottom of the chain. They have the money and the power to eradicate slavery from its supply chains, all it lacks is the will.
Here is where we, the consumers, step into the picture. The “Big Chocolate, Just Say Yes” Campaign is run by World Vision Australia. It is all about calling on the Chocolate manufactures of Australia to make a genuine attempt to tackle the root causes of child labour in cocoa production by publicly committing to a pre written statement submitted by World Vision. The campaign is trying to get a bunch of signatures from all around Australia, to show that there is a market for ethical alternatives. So jump on board!
To get involved there is a number of things that you can do. First of all you can email me ( your first and last name, email address and your post code and I will put your name on a petition sheet. If you’re not comfortable with giving me that information over the internet, see me at school, if you go to my school, and I will be able to write it down then. If you do it one of those ways I can present all our signatures as the community at expectchanges.blogspot. If you can’t follow any of those, fill in the survey over the internet at and follow the links. And finally if you want to get involved in your community, get your community group involved. You could talk to your youth group about slavery in cocoa plantations, or your sporting team, or people at your work. If you want to do that, let us know and we can help with what you should say and how you can get their signatures together.
Decide which option suits you the best, and then take action. If you’re still undecided, or want more information head over to If you decide to sign the petition over at their site, let us know so we can congratulate you on your first step to abolishing slavery. Haha how formal did that sound?? Ok well thanks for your time, get involved for this awesome cause, and get others involved too, friends and family.


No comments:

Post a Comment