Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Easter Chocolate Challenge

According to World Vision around 70% of the cocoa beans used to make our favourite chocolates come from West Africa where farmers are paid a pittance by the big western chocolate manufacturers. Apparently the returns paid to African farmers have steadily reduced over the past few years while chocolate manufacturers continue to increase the cost to the end users of their products, and, of course, their profit margins.

As a result of the incredibly low returns farmers in West Africa are being forced to use their own children as labour and are also purchasing other children, trafficked as slaves by criminal networks, to work as forced labour.

To date hundreds of thousands of West African children have been stolen and on sold to cocoa farmers where they are forced to work up to 100 hours per week and are also victims of abuse and neglect.

World Vision (and Moved Mountains) is challenging all chocolate eaters to take a stand against the child slave trade encouraged by the western chocolate companies by letting retailers and manufacturers know that we - the consumers of their end product - are not satisfied with the way their industry takes advantage of low cocoa prices and therefore encourages the horrific child slave trade in West Africa.

World Vision have produced a letter which they are encouraging people to send to their favourite chocolate manufacturer and a coupon which can be printed out and handed out to your local chocolate retailers (the links here link to pdf files, I suggest you right click and then "save as" rather than trying to open directly from here).

This is something we can all take action against - its easy, and help to make a very real difference in the lives of the poor cocoa farmers and the children that are currently being forced into the slave trade.

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