Are Slaves Making Your Chocolate?

Here is a sobering thought: those cute Hershey Kisses and colorful M&M’s are made with slave-labor.

English: A pile of plain M&M's candies.

Image via Wikipedia

I used to love popping M&Ms in my mouth or placing a Hershey Kiss in the middle of my peanut butter cookies.  Fighting slavery means that we sacrifice what is comfortable and easy for the sake of the lives of children and adults who are unfairly working as slaves around the world.

My fiancé recently bought me this book, which requires a response – to reconsider what products we bring into our house and choose to support.  I teased him, “Why do you buy me books like this?  You know it means that now we have to spend more money.”   He reminded me of what William Wilberforce  said about this decision we all have to make:

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

When you know about injustice, you are faced with a decision.  Staying ignorant may seem like the easy way out – but slavery will still exist, whether or not you decide to ignore it.

Now, about CHOCOLATE: There is a wealth of information available when it comes to chocolate, from documentaries to blogs and lists of which companies are fair-trade.  There is no excuse to continue to buy chocolate made by slave-labor.  Educate yourself and decide how you will help to change this industry.


The Dark Side of Chocolate: an excellent (free) documentary. Start by watching this documentary!

Is There Slavery in Your Chocolate: a helpful article by John Robbins explaining some of the history of poor practices, who is working towards change, and which companies are safe to support.

Americans Want Slave-Free Chocolate Too!: a blog written by Polaris Project, where a person reflects on a trip to London and see fair-trade Cadbury Chocolate – an outcome of earlier letter-writing campaigns!

Sign this Petition for Hershey to Stop Using Slave-Chocolate: and consider committing to boycott their products until they do so.  Instead of regularly enjoying this cheap chocolate (think about why it’s cheap!), consider occasionally buying a fair-trade bar of chocolate as a special treat.

Hershey Report: an excellent report that details how Hershey has NOT been trying to change their practices and which companies ARE.  (Keep in mind, Hershey just made a sizable financial commitment to changing their practices.  Let’s HOPE and PRAY they follow through on this.  In the meantime – their chocolate is NOT YET fair-trade.)

List of Safe Companies: a list of fair-trade and/or organic chocolates and explanations of their products, their origin, and where you can find the chocolate.  Keep in mind that some companies may have 1 or 2 products that are fair-trade when the rest of their products are not.  Do you want to support a company like this?  You need to make this decision.  Also, Ben & Jerry’s does not use fair-trade chocolate in ALL their ice-cream.  Read labels!

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