ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE CACAO INDUSTRY
The growing of cacao contains major ethical issues from an environmental and human standpoint.
A lot of cacao is grown using harsh organochlorine pesticides such as DDT.
These pesticides persist in the environment for a very long time.
In addition, workers on many of the cacao farms are not given adequate protection from them and are often exposed to very high levels.
Make sure your cacao is produced without them.
Keep in mind that just because something is organic, does not mean it was produced without pesticides or that the workers were given proper protection.
One of the worst issues surrounding cacao is the use of child slavery. In the most recent report, it was found that over two million children were engaged in dangerous cacao growing, many of them slaves. This is a tragedy and causes an amount of suffering that many of us cannot even being to fathom.
Those companies could choose to end the practice immediately, but they choose to put profits over people. That is why you should boycott those companies and encourage stores to stop selling their products.
Despite the rising profits of chocolate companies many farmers live on less than $1.25 a day which is below the level of absolute poverty in those countries. So while companies like Nestle get rich, the people suffer.
IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
You can help change this though. Commit to only buying chocolate and cacao products that are truly fair-trade and that help to improve the communities where they are sourced from.