January 19th, 2012
12:37 PM ET

iReport challenge: Fair trade chocolate creations

Tens of thousands of children toil in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast, some against their will, to create the chocolate bars that many of us enjoy.

In a CNN Freedom Project investigation, David McKenzie traveled to the West African country and discovered that despite promises the global chocolate industry made a decade ago to end forced labor, there are still child slaves harvesting cocoa, even though some have never tasted chocolate and some don't even know what the word "chocolate" means.

It can be hard to find ethically produced cocoa, but the "fair trade" designation helps ensures that farmers receive a fair price and prohibits the use of slave and child labor.

For this Freedom Project challenge, we invite you to create a dish using fair trade chocolate, with bonus points to those who make a delicacy that’s special to their country or region.

Submit a photo or video showing off your creation, and tell us about the experience, including any obstacles you faced in finding or using fair trade chocolate. Please include the recipe you used.

The best submissions will be shown on CNN International, Eatocracy and the CNN Freedom Project blog.

Get started with the iReport assignment

More about the human cost of chocolate
How can you help as a consumer?
The chocolate industry response
All stories from "Chocolate's Child Slaves"

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. SOPA

    Watch me post some copyright infringing material. SOPA is great isn't it CNN?

    January 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  2. alphagemini

    Lets have a one day World wide chocolate eating strike. It would soon bring the big corporate
    people to wake up. It could cost them huge money. Ifit doesn't work make it a week.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      This is a great idea. But I am not just boycotting one day (which would be better than nothing and some people would be more willing to do this than what I am doing). I have given up ALL chocolate (including cocoa and chocolate milk) that isn't fair trade permanently or until the child slavery issue is resolved.

      February 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
      • alphagemini

        We must spread the word and get a crowd to join us. I have stopped eating chocolate and won't start again until things
        change. Every time I see chocolate in a shop I can't forget those little kids.

        February 10, 2012 at 6:00 am |
    • Name*Holly martin

      Agree !

      February 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  3. darlene van etten

    as much as i love chocolate and thats a whole lot for these children i would go on a chocolate strike for a month. Two days would not hurt the manufacturing industries at all. What else can be done to show the displeasure of child slave labor. Children belong in schools and not in fields of labor.

    January 21, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
    • Rosiane

      while death suddenly loves as I... death like me does not like to wait...not too much of a shock ayatullche won as expectedgood for himgood for Americatoo bad for usء"enjoy d weather:)"لا تتطنزين... الجو عندنا حلو :)(ناطرك تسافرين 🙂 )

      July 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  4. hussein yusuf

    This is horrible,young slave kids working for something we crave and they suffer for it,we must take a standand to stop this torture

    January 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  5. hussein yusuf

    This is horrible,young slave kids working for something we crave and they suffer for it,we must take a standand to stop this torture.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      Again, I couldn't agree more. And yes, I am craving it. But it's just not worth it to finance a child's suffering. I will only buy fair trade from now on (coffee, too - the problem exists there too)

      February 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  6. GRANT

    I think the overuse of basic ingredients indicates the monies traded to farming communities for their social imrovement is deliberately being abused for empire building. Many products taste different to the past.

    Probably with the knowledge of NGO who are intending to help but cannot understand WHY with everyone's commitments and efforts their pursuit seems to be failing. A means to a misguided end maybe.

    Good foundations such as schools and social resource should instead be evident at this stage. The cause seems to be a good resourse for some to collect funding to monopolize that same local trade.



    January 23, 2012 at 1:28 am | Reply
  7. asdf


    January 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  8. Jeff

    How about the Acai Berry trade in the Amazon of Brazil? At least one company-Mona Vie-makes a big deal on their web site of being caring and compassionate for the people of the Amazon who grow and harvest the product that is then sold for $45.00 a bottle but I don't see a Fair Trade designation anywhere. Any idea as to there hourly wage? Plz advise, Jeff

    February 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  9. donna

    It is said that half of the world doesn't know how the other half lives.....what a heartbreaking story! Please read the book, The Hole in the Gospel. There ARE things we can do to make a difference besides not eating chocolate. Book written by CEO of World Vision. Life-changing!

    February 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  10. hope

    Man ruling himself to his own detriment...

    Truth is: We're all slaves to our own selfish desires. Change man's thirst for money and power and you've really done something.

    Thank you, CNN, for your efforts...


    February 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  11. Al

    Totally amazing that with the millions of dollars in wasted chocolate every holiday (Valentine's) in particular, that their is not enough oversight by these companies to ensure these sort of things are put to an end. I truly don't think I could look at a chocolate bar the same again. IN addtion, so many people are selling these chocolate candy bars at work for their kids school, and noe of these bars say anything about "Fair Trade".... Shanking My Head! The kids here in the US are fund raising with these same bars that other are being enslaved by. WOW! What a WORLD!!!

    February 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • devikap

      Very true.

      universal academy schools

      February 16, 2012 at 6:08 am | Reply
  12. Syed Sharful Anam

    It appears that my comments on the subject are awaiting moderation by CNN since 23rd.January,2012.Needless to say that CNN has done a great job in disclosing the painful truths.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  13. bojang

    I think everyone should make a stance against the slavery in any form. Government must implement solutions this problems by sensitizing communities

    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  14. hippie chick

    What about certified organic chocolate? Does anyone know if there are labor rules enforced with that?

    February 18, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
  15. flowermissing


    March 29, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
    • John

      Chef John Love your post. Was wandering if you could post some more drink iprcees (non alcohol). Tired of buying juice from store all the time. Maybe a homemade fruit punch or other drink. Thanks

      April 8, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  16. Rose Abdullah,,

    watta disappointment,,wel I've never thought tht d moment of joy tht i always get while having ma chocolate could b really a result of hours and hours of a child slavery, sweat and blood, hwever if d Question iz who to blame thn itz gunna b so tricky!!! iz it d consumer whos looking 4 d satisfaction, d companies tht care about nothing but profit or d global economy which controls both. aw ppl opinions will vary about whats fair n whats not, bt iz even there any sense of Justice in tht!!!? "No Judgment"??????
    aw stll wodering if am gunna get tht moment of JOY while havin chocolate any more,,,,

    June 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  17. onsooq

    its amazing news
    thanks cnn

    January 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Reply

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