CNN’s Richard Quest talks to filmmaker U. Roberto Romano, whose documentary “The Dark Side of Chocolate” investigates child labor and cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast.
Read a statement from the Global Chocolate and Cocoa Industry |
From the International Cocoa Initiative
But before you bite into a chocolate bar or take a sip of hot cocoa, consider, where did it come from?
It may be that the treat is the product of someone else’s hard labor. The person who may have sold it or who may have made it may not even be an adult.
The International Labour Organization estimates between 56 and 72 million African children work in agriculture, many in their own family farms. The seven largest cocoa-producing countries are Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameron, Brazil, Ecuador, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Those last two together account for nearly 60 percent of global cocoa production.
And right now, you can still find children working in the cocoa fields as Romano and his crew did to film “The Dark Side of Chocolate.”
So, what should you as a consumer do?
“I’d like you to buy either a fair trade chocolate or a direct trade chocolate,” Romano says. “I’d like you to buy something where you, as a consumer, can vote responsibly for better treatment of these farmers. And also with fair trade, you know that they’re going to be at least on the road to being paid a decent wage. And with the inspections that go on, you know that their children aren’t working and are getting an education.”