The Tears Behind The Chocolates

 

Men and young boys working on a small cocoa farming commune near Abengourou, Côte d’Ivoire

Men and young boys working on a small cocoa farming commune near Abengourou, Côte d’Ivoire (Image Source: Raconteur.net)

If you are a chocolate lover you might buy chocolates every time you go to the supermarket. Before you put them into the basket, have you ever thought about what you are really going to buy? Chocolates are kind of a thing that we all enjoy regardless of age. But the people who work to bring it to you have a different story.

Chocolate has become one of the heavily consumed confectionery in the world. About 70% of the cocoa beans production belongs to the West African countries such as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.  Among the four countries, Ghana and Ivory Coast are the leading cocoa producers who supply more than 50% of cocoa to the world.

Cocoa Production and Consumption 2018

These African countries use child labour in chocolate production. These children sometimes either been kidnapped or sold into slavery. Because of poverty,  parents of slum families sell their own children for the chocolate farmers just to reduce the number of mouths they need to feed. The children are far away from their freedom and human rights. 

According to the Albert R. Mann Library – Cornell University, They have to work hard dealing with unsafe tools and poisonous fertilizers for long hours on a daily basis. They are trapped! Even if the chocolate belongs more than $74 billion annual revenue, only 7% of this will go to the cocoa farmers. Child abuse is also a common problem in most of the cocoa fields. Stopping this child slavery can be unprofitable and knotty for the chocolate industry.  Therefore, nobody wants to step up to this problem and get their hands dirty. Even if there are fair-trade chocolates in the market it is only considered by less than 1% of global supply. 

No one deserves to sacrifice their happiness to satisfy our taste buds. But this is the dark story behind the chocolates and yes it is heartbreaking. So every time you taste and enjoy the sweetness of chocolate, don’t forget that there are millions of children who shed tears to make you happy. The sadness is those innocents even don’t know the taste of chocolate you taste.

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