When thinking about what to research, the first thing that came to mind was chocolate. Since a family dream was to always open a pastry shop, but one that involved lots of chocolate. Everybody loves chocolate or at least it is believed to be one of those products loved by most regarding your age. It is one of those products that can be made in many different ways such as in a liquid, solid, powder, and even paste form. Yet I would want to do this it with the usage of chocolate that doesn’t involve child labor. The only thing I wasn’t too sure about is if I would be able to keep the person in charge to be aware of exactly which companies to buy from. So I decided to conduct a little research on the company’s that involve child labor’s as well as how it influences on the production of chocolate. Aside from the research to support my thesis that pastry shops should buy chocolate that doesn’t involve child labor, I mostly asked whether they were aware and should.

Whoriskey, P., & Siegel, R. (2019, June 5). Cocoa’s child laborers. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/business/hershey-nestle-mars-chocolate-child-labor-west-africa.

The information in this source elaborates on the many different factors and conditions that adolescent boys in Guiglo, Ivory Coast face on West African cocoa farms. Children as young as 12 years old are trafficked to work in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast. It is considered that most chocolate bars bought in the United States are products that include child labor. According to a  2015 US Labor Department report, it is to be stated that approximately more than 2 million children had engaged in cocoa growing regions. In which it couldn’t be guaranteed that the biggest and most well known company such as Hersheys, Mars, and Nestle products weren’t produced without any child labor. Yet for producers it claims that it is only hardly to identify were most cocoa comes from causing for only a small percent can be traced and whether or not it involved child labor. Meanwhile some benefits to overcome include factor such as economic forces in the World’s poorest places that force children to work under dangerous conditions,

This source is a newspaper article. Its main focus was on the harvesting of cocoa beans in farms in the Ivory Coast and the influence of child labor. It was posted by Peter Whoriskey, who focuses on investigating both economic and financial issues with the contribution of Rachel Siegel, who is a national business reporter.This source included a lot of useful information and pictures that conveyed the audience the conditions in which they are infrented to. However, I can tell that it was a post involving an investigation since they included interviews. But still, this source seems to be recent from like 2 years ago, so therefore it is still currently an issue that raises many concerns.

Quotations from the source: “The new system relies on hiring a local farmer to check other farms for child labor. If children are found working, the farmer is encouraged to send the children to school, and he or she is offered other assistance. The advantage, advocates say, is that the oversight comes from someone more like a social worker than a police officer.”

Keywords: child labor, chocolate, cocoa, Ivory Coast, children, poverty

Fair Trade USA. (2016, February 9). Is There Child Labor In Your Chocolate? Huffpost; Huffpost. http://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-there-child-labor-in-y_b_9169898

The information in this source argues the hazardous conditions for working in the cocoa farms. Another important aspect in the chocolate industry is poverty. It has been seen that as the demand for chocolate increases child labor has been showing little improvement. Ultimately it makes a strong case against 3 major factors leading to the prevalence to child labor in West’s Africa cocoa production lack of enforcement, limited access to education, and poverty. With the introduction of some alternatives and benefits of consuming fair trade certified chocolate. In which could help shape the chocolate industry for better.

This is a blog post which is very similar to a newspaper yet not quite the same. It was posted by fair trade USA in 2016 but updated in 2017 which is only a few years ago making it still reliable. The images are very engaging and convey the impact that fair trade has against children. They show images of children writing and with happy emotions which makes the audience feel useful and supportive because a change is being made toward these children’s lives. It included many alternatives when purchasing chocolate as well as its benefits. 

Quotations: “Of these, the most unique to Fair Trade is the ability to provide farmers with the resources to invest in education. The primary way this happens is via the Community Development Premium. For every metric ton of Fair Trade cocoa sold, farmers earn an additional $200 to invest in farm and community level projects. Farmers vote to spend these funds on important needs like school tuition, lunch programs, and in some cases entirely new schools.”

Keywords: Chocolate, child labor, poverty, fair trade, farmers, children, cocoa

Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry. (2019). Food Empowerment Project. http://foodispower.org/human-labor-slavery/slavery-chocolate/

This source mainly argued child labor and slavery in the chocolate industry in West African countries. The countries that supply around 70% of the World’s cocoa are Ghana and the Ivory Coast. But not only has it made it extremely hard for reporters to not access farms in which human right violations occur, but the issue has spread even more. The demand of cheap cocoa has grown due European countries seeking to grow it in places where labor was considered with cheap pay. Leading to farms earning less than $1 while using child labor to make demand more competitive. Although the coronavirus has estimated and 15-20% decrease in child labor.

This source is an article about an organization about the food empowerment project. This website is very organized into many different topics involving the production of chocolate. Although it doesn’t have an exact date of when it was uploaded yet it contains the date in which it was updated which was in 2021 which makes it still a very recent issue. It is credited to the international labor right refum. Containing similarities in information which still make it reliable for my research.

Quotations: “Contact chocolate companies and let them know how you feel about the injustices in the cocoa industry. Demand transparency from companies that have refused to disclose where they source their cocoa from, and call on companies to pay a living income to cocoa farmers. Even if a company is recommended on our chocolate list, contact them to let them know that is why you are buying their product. Our free app makes it easy to contact the companies.”

Keywords: Cocoa, child labor, slavery, children,coronavirus

Garr, S. (2021, January 11). What is Fair Trade Chocolate and Why Sustainable Chocolate is Even Bet. To’ak Chocolate. http://toakchocolate.com/blog/news/what-is-fair-tarde-chocolate-and-why-sustainable-is-even-better.

This source argues the reasons for fair trade chocolate as well suitable chocolate being better. Will appreciate how that piece of chocolate has reached your hands. The influence that fair trade organizations have helped in addressing the hard work farmers put in the harvesting of cocoa. The aim that fair chocolate is contributing towards addressing social,economic, and environmental deforstation, child labor, cliamte change, slavery, systemic poverty, and lastly social inequality.

This source is an article that includes the to’ak philosophy. It is a well structured website with clear and understandable tabs and headings. It was published in early 2021 which contains information that is up to date while also provide the differences between fair and direct trade and as well as sustainable chocolate. As well as some of the problems in fair trade such as not including a label or logo to acknowledge taht the chocolate product you are consuming doesn’t involve child labor but instead is was made with sustaibal parctices and fair pay.

Quotations: This philosophy leads to higher wages and often more sustainable, environmentally friendly farming practices. With direct trade, companies are closer to the source, and it often shows in the quality, care, and—yes, price—of their product. While this distinction is important, there’s currently no direct trade certification. Instead, chocolate makers will often include specific details (and sometimes pictures) of the farmers and co-ops they work with right on their packaging.

Keywords: Cocoa pods,chocolate,fair trade, direct trade,environment,economic,poverty

In conclusion, I did lots of research on the chocolate industry and many other factors influencing the production of chocolate. I learned a lot about the chocolate industry and the process in which it takes many cocoa pods to make a piece of fine chocolate. If I open a pastry shop I would like to use fair trade chocolate or if even possibly direct trade chocolate. So that there can be a connection made towards cocoa farmers. Making an influence that guarantees fair pay, health practices in consideration of both the environment and farmers. Also it makes consumers be more aware of what they are actually purchasing and what they contribute towards.