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Do you Know What’s in that Halloween Candy?

Posted by: Dr. Tina Morse PsyD, MFT

Topic: Life News & Events, Spirit

Halloween

1)  Did you know that slavery still exists and there are often large ‘U.S. corporations’ that own fields of crops in other countries that are behind this?

2)  Children are sometimes ‘chosen by their parents’ to be sold into slavery for working in the fields to help produce everyday products like the coffee you drink and the chocolate you eat.
3)  Are you willing to continue supporting this, or would you like to be a part of change and help end these practices for profits?
SOLUTION:  Purchase items marked ‘FREE-TRADE.’ It is a simple change you can make to help make a difference everyday.

40,000 + people are asking Hershey to Stop Sponsoring Child Labor By Halloween. …Will you join us?

“Yesterday, the Hershey Company announced new financial results indicating record profits in 2010. While this iconic chocolate brand may be raking in more money than ever, it still lags behind every single one of its competitors in eliminating forced, trafficked and child labor in its cocoa supply chain. Is slavery propping up Hershey’s profits?

Every major chocolate company and cocoa trader from Mars, Nestle, Kraft, Unilever, Barry Callebaut to companies and brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Green & Black’s, Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange and more have made at least some commitment to work with independent, third party organizations to identify the sources of their cocoa and work to implement labor rights standards among their suppliers. Hershey, on the other hand, reports that it spent its time and resources last year increasing advertising expenses by 62% in 2010 and by 85% in the fourth quarter. For example, you may have seen commercials recently for Hershey’s new “Drops,” which are essentially bite-sized drops of chocolate. Hershey calls them “delicious ‘drops’ of happiness.” But when a company operating in an industry plagued by the widespread use of the most egregious labor rights abuses fails to prevent this exploitation in its own supply chain, those drops don’t feel quite like happiness.

The consequences of taking such a hands-off approach to the production of a company’s primary ingredient means it can be linked to exploitation. Just last week, a report noted that two workers in the Ivory Coast died while loading a ship carrying cocoa used in Hershey products, because they were overworked and not trained appropriately. The ship captain interviewed in the article implied that these worker deaths are not an isolated occurrence. Meanwhile, child labor, forced labor and trafficking also continue on cocoa farms throughout Ivory Coast.  That’s why the most recently released “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” by the U.S. Department of Labor includes cocoa from five countries. Additionally, cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Nigeria is included on a list of goods that federal contractors must certify were not produced using forced labor or indentured child labor.

That is why experts, including a research team from Tulane University investigating labor abuses in the cocoa industry, are recommending that companies take responsibility for their supply chains and work to ensure labor rights compliance. In the most rigorous and independent review of the impact of company programs on the ground in West Africa, the Tulane research team explicitly calls on chocolate companies to institute traceability systems for their cocoa supply chains that “enables the enforcement of standards at the producer level and is a requirement of product certification” and scale up consumption of certified cocoa “and publicly commit to new procurement targets of product certified cocoa specifically in the U.S. market.” The U.S. Department of State also supports very similar recommendations in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons report, and investment experts are also calling for these types of policies.

It’s time for Hershey to ensure that its record profits do not come at the expense of children and workers in cocoa growing communities. You can send an e-mail to Hershey on Change.org here.”

This is a guest post via Change.org


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