The Dark Side of Chocolate: Slavery
Just like Darth Vader, we’re no stranger to the dark side at Mr Popple’s Chocolate. We can’t get enough of dark chocolate. However, there is an even darker side of the chocolate industry that we don’t like; slavery.
Let’s be honest, when do we buy and eat a chocolate bar and think about where it has been sourced and put together – rarely!
People all around the world love chocolate. I’m sure you can think of a time when chocolate has brought you joy, whether it was eating chocolate or even just seeing someone else eat some chocolate that made you happy.
Chocolate is a big part of many people’s lives, but the excitement isn’t shared with many of the workers who are exploited in the chocolate industry. It is chocolate season, and chocolate lovers all over the world are rejoicing. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that chocolate comes at a big cost: slavery. There are still slaves in the chocolate industry around the world – but there are ways to help!
Cocoa farmers on average earn less than $2 a day, which puts them below the poverty line. This means that children have to start working at a young age, in order to support their families. As a result, many children fall prey to traffickers. Traffickers tell the children that they will be paid well. A brazen lie. Some are also sold to traffickers and forced to work long days, and some never see their parents again. A sad reality in many developing countries.
Farmers aren’t directly to blame. The main reason they use child labour and resort to slavery is because they are struggling to make ends meet themselves and need to cut costs where possible. Supplying middlemen, poverty and debt has also driven them to use slave labour. It’s a vicious cycle that many farmers struggle to tackle and break.
The first allegations of child slavery in cocoa production were reported in 1998. By 2008–09 it was estimated that 819,921 children worked on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast alone. In the period between 2013–14, the number went up to 1,303,009. During the same period in Ghana, the estimated number of children working on cocoa farms was 957,398 children. These numbers are simply shocking…But together we can work to stop this, simply by supporting more ethical brands.
Although chocolate may not be as sweet as you would expect it to be when it comes down to its history, there is still hope that we can put an end to these terrible chocolate production conditions.
It’s Not All Doom and Gloom
At Mr Popple’s Chocolate, we pride ourselves on being an ethical chocolate brand. Our dark chocolate bars are ethically sourced, as well as being super tasty. Yes, we really can multitask!
We try to cut out the middle man because as much as possible. As the longer the supply chain, the larger the risk becomes of illegal practices and slave labour. Universally fair chocolate is ALWAYS our aim and we hope that you share our passion for honest and ethical chocolate.
Explore our range of ethical slave free chocolate at mrpoppleschocolate.co.uk