Friday, December 22, 2006

Chocolate Worms

Mmm love dem worms, especially chocolate covered ones.

They are a delicacy in some places.

But not apparently in India.
Cadbury: The confectionary giant is now under fire

It could have been worse though, it could have been chocolate covered slaves.

The Cadbury Chocolate company of England drew attention to the abuses of indenture when it boycotted cocoa produced by African labour from the Portuguese-held colony of Angola to São Tomé, and further importation of contract labour to the island was halted in 1909.

Ironically, part of the reason behind the ending of the practice of indentured labour had more to do with overtly racist and expansionist ideologies than humanitarian concern. Because those who had completed their term of indenture sometimes opted to remain in the colonies and set up for themselves, they often came into competition with white labourers and businessmen, competition that increased as the numbers of emigrants from Europe increased.

After "Slavery" was televised in Britain last fall, horrified consumers bombarded the country's biggest chocolate manufacturers - Cadbury, Nestle and Mars - with demands for "clean products"which are untainted by slave labour.
Big companies, like Nestle, purchase their cocoa on international exchanges where cocoa from Ivory Coast is mixed with cocoa from other countries and loses its identity as a slave-made product. Anti Slavery International says, "Because of the way the chocolate industry buys its cocoa it is not possible to ensure that slave or other forms of illegal exploitation have not been used in its production." It says companies should purchase direct from plantations so they can ensure international labour standards are met. If they continue to buy their cocoa via the exchange or other middlemen, they should work with cocoa-producing countries such as Ivory Coast to ensure the labour standards are enforced.
If chocolate manufacturers fail to respond, Anti Slavery International offers this recommendation: "In the absence of industry action, the only way consumers can be confident the produce they use is free from exploited labour is by buying products which carry a fair trade label."



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