Child Labor, Slavery, And Human Trafficking

1703 WordsMar 6, 20177 Pages
Despite their role in contributing to child labor, slavery, and human trafficking, the chocolate industry has not taken significant steps to remedy the problem. Within their $60-billion industry, chocolate companies have the power to end the use of child labor and slave labor by paying cocoa farmers a living wage for their product. The chocolate industry is also being called upon to develop and financially support programs to rescue and rehabilitate children who have been sold to cocoa farms. To date, the industry has done little to remove child labor, let alone aid survivors of child labor. Hershey’s, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, has not thoroughly addressed accusations of child labor in its supply chain and…show more content…
There are two distinct types of cocoa plants: Criollo and Forastero. The Criollo variety is the most sensitive of the cocoa plants, and any shifts in climate can have an adverse affect on its already low yield. In an attempt to blend the hardiness of the Forastero plant with the delicate flavors of the Criollo plant, the two were hybridized into a third plant, Trinitario, which accounted for 20% of all production in 2008, although it 's steadily developing a following. Regardless of the cocoa variety, the production cycle is the same. On average, cocoa trees take five years to reach maturity and bear fruit, at which time only a total of about 20 pods might be ready for harvest. As a rule of thumb, 10 pods produce 2.2 pounds of cocoa, so the average tree can produce only a little over four pounds of cocoa. Interestingly, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia account for more than 70% of the world 's cocoa production, and most of that production comes from small plantations. Once the cocoa beans are dried out, they are shipped to the manufacturer. They are shipped in food-safe jut bags that are treated with vegetable oil. They can only be used once because they have to be clean and strong enough. These bags have to be disposed after one use which makes them not environmentally friendly. Once on the ship, they are stored in a large containment room. The dried cocoa beans release a large amount of carbon
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