In 2001, eight of the largest chocolate companies signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol, which is an international agreement aimed at ending the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) and Forced Adult Labor (FAL) within their cocoa supply chains by 2005. This public certification has good intentions, but it is non-binding and has no legal ramifications. In 2005 WFCL and FAL had not been eradicated from supply chains, so the deadline for meeting standards set forth in the agreement was rescheduled. The Harken-Engel Protocol was signed again in 2005, 2008, and finally in 2010 with a deadline of 2020. Studies have shown a steady increase of children involved in the cocoa industry over the last 15 years. One can conclude that these chocolate companies have yet to prove that they can self-regulate.

When buying chocolate, we urge you to seriously consider which chocolate companies you support. At the Peace & Justice Store, we have chosen to support Divine Chocolate because their company is co-owned by the 85,000 farmer members of the Kuapa Kokoo, the cooperative in Ghana. Because they are Fairtrade Certified, we know that their products have been produced ethically, without any forms of child labor, and free of exploitation. Want to know more about Divine and Kuapa Kokoo? Click here to read a Farmer Spotlight!

This continues to be a complex issue and I heartily encourage you to be part of the conversation. Join us this Saturday for our Cocoa Campaign presentation that focuses on the issue of child slavery and human trafficking in the cocoa industry. It is designed to educate, brainstorm solutions and create tangible action steps that fit within the comfort zone of each participant.

Cocoa Campaign Presentation
60 Lake St, Burlington
Saturday, February 11, 2017
3:30-4:30 (come early to participate in a New Volunteer Orientation at 3:00)