Chocolate’s Human Impact
Between five and six million people, largely
smallholders, grow cocoa around the world.
In Ivory Coast, cocoa farmers earn around 50
cents per day and in Ghana around 84 cents
per day. Farmers are shortchanged since
chocolate’s revenue and profits are strongly
skewed towards traders and manufacturers.
The revenue distribution has only gotten worse:
In the 1980s, farmers received an average of
16% of the value of a chocolate bar. today (2017/09), that
number is 6.6%. In comparison, 35% goes to
chocolate companies and 44% goes to retailers
Additionally, the chocolate industry is notorious
for labor rights abuses including slave labor and
child labor. According to the US Department of
Labor, “21 percent more children are illegally
laboring on cocoa farms in Ghana and The
Ivory Coast than five years ago.” An estimated
2.1 million West African children are still
engaged in dangerous, physically taxing cocoa
harvesting. Rather than eliminate the problem,
the industry has merely pledged to reduce child
labor in Ivory Coast and Ghana by 70% by 2020.