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Halloween Chocolate Scorecard: Is There Child Labor in Your Candy?

Published on October 16, 2019 by   ·   104 Comments Pin It
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It should be obvious that we all would prefer to keep child labor out of our candy bars, but is it? Just in time for buying Halloween candy, the Green America Chocolate Scorecard ranked the major chocolate companies on their sustainability and human rights efforts in cocoa supply chains. The three lowest graded companies Godiva (F) and Ferrero and Mondelez (both Ds) performed even worse than Lindt, Hershey (both C), Mars and Nestle (C+).  What does that mean exactly?  It is estimated that over 2 million children are working in cocoa fields in West Africa.  In addition, cocoa growing has decimated forests in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Companies were rated on the steps they are taking on child labor, deforestation, and whether they have meaningful programs to address farmer poverty. The largest companies’ failure to address child labor in cocoa was spotlighted in a major Washington Post expose this past spring that raised consumer awareness about the issues.

Halloween Chocolate Scorecard: Is There Child Labor in Your Candy?

Halloween Chocolate Scorecard: Is There Child Labor in Your Candy?

Charlotte Tate, labor justice manager at Green America, says;

This Halloween and every day, children should be able to enjoy candies that aren’t made by child laborers, and those child laborers should be enjoying their childhoods, rather than being forced to work in dangerous conditions. However, companies continue to make that a difficult task by not adequately addressing child labor in their supply chain. Big brands must do more to tackle these issues and buying ethically sourced chocolate is one way for consumers to put pressure on brands to change their practices.

When bombarded with endless choices, it can be difficult to know which chocolate brands are having a positive impact on the world,” said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Consumer and Corporate Engagement at Green America. “The aim of Green America’s scorecard is to help consumers feel confident about choosing chocolates that are ethically sourced with high-quality ingredients.”

So what chocolate brands should you buy instead?

Chocolate maker Guittard received a B+ rating. Alter Eco, Divine, Endangered Species, Equal Exchange, Shaman, Theo Chocolate, and Tony’s Chocolonely were all given As.

The Green America Chocolate Scorecard provides a resource to consumers to help identify and purchase chocolate that is ethically made, so that consumers can help in the fight against child labor through supporting those brands making the biggest efforts.

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. 

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    Due to how problematic certifications are, and with all the reports that have recently come out saying child labor and slavery is extremely difficult to avoid in Western African countries and Brazil, I only trust Food Empowerment Project’s chocolate list. Their list is based on country of origin, not any certifications and is also good for workers and animals: https://foodispower.org/chocolate-list/

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