Category Archives: scandal
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.
This morning I read an interesting report called “How The Cocoa Industry Destroys National Parks” by Etelle Higonnet, Marisa Bellantonio and Glenn Hurowitz. This 20-pages publication was randomly handed to me during the FCIA event in New York and it opened my eyes on the environmental issues surrounding the cocoa industry in Ivory Coast 🌱🔥
The report focuses on Ivory Coast’s national parks and protected areas that have been cleared of forest and replaced with cocoa growing operations. Natural paradises that should remain untouched and prosperous are deforested to grow cocoa in full sun to boost short-run productivity.
“Illegal deforestation for cocoa is an open secret throughout the entire chocolate supply chain” states the report.
Much of Ivory Coast was actually covered by forests when it achieved independence in 1960, and boasted one of the highest rates of biodiversity in Africa, with thousands of endemic species 🌴🐒
However, the chocolate industry’s practices have eliminated much of this forest and had caused Ivorian wildlife populations to plummet. Addressed as main culprits (among predatory middlemen and corrupted cooperatives) are large agribusinesss companies like Olam, Cargill and Barry Callebaut, responsible for creating a market for illegally grown cocoa 👤💱
Although aware of the hundreds of acres destroyed to supply the demand from big manufacturers in the US and EU, these companies have launched small-scale sustainability initiatives that have done little to nothing to resolve the issue.
“The tragedy of this deforestation is that it is entirely avoidable. Instead of driving investment in expansion into forests or national parks, cocoa companies should be focusing their resources on shade-grown systems, water distribution and grafting techniques that can actually promote higher average productivity over the full life cycle of a cocoa tree.” concludes the report.
Once again, this is the neverending battle between quality/patience/ethics VS quantity/speed/greediness.
As a consumer, ask yourself: which side are you supporting with your money? 👈👉
#chocolate #environment #nature #africa #dirtymoney
“The dark side of chocolate. This morning I read an interesting report called “How The Cocoa Industry Destroys National Parks”.
Feeling inspired and empowered by this documentary. It’s a brave and honest piece that gives a voice to all Colombians that keep working the Land, despite all the horrors that, for generations, the war has carved in their memory. Recommended to all of you that keep doing what you love, because you haven’t stopped believing in a better tomorrow.