Cocoa-nomics: Will the chocolate industry now end child labor and slavery?
February 17th, 2014
04:48 PM ET

Cocoa-nomics: Will the chocolate industry now end child labor and slavery?

The chocolate industry is worth an estimated $110 billion a year, and yet its key commodity is grown by some of the poorest people on the planet, in plantations that can hide the worst forms of child labor.

Two years ago CNN uncovered slavery in the plantations of Ivory Coast. Now manufacturers are facing up to the growing demand for "ethical" chocolate and are taking measures to clean up their supply chains.

But do these measures go far enough and are they fast enough? In the forthcoming series airing on CNN International from February 27, CNN returns to Ivory Coast. Ahead of that, you can read more background about how slavery has tainted the industry. You can find out where in the world the demand for and supply of chocolate is greatest, look at the true cost of a bar of chocolate and see how it is made from bean to bar by scrolling through our info-graphics.

You can also take part in our iReport challenge to eat ethically, and you can meet the village elder who gets to taste a KitKat for the first time.

Read more about what Nestlé found when it sent a team to the Ivory Coast.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Thank god that slavery end if slavery did not end I would kill my self. Thank you god thank you god

    February 18, 2014 at 12:27 am | Reply
  2. foster

    This blog is not true. I'm from Ghana and cocoa is our major cash crop. Those cocoa farmers use their own family on their cocoa farms. No one is force to work on cocoa farms. Farmers who uses their under aged children on their farms are instances where the farm is too big for the family to handle, the hire labour whom are paid for their services. How is getting paid for a job slavery?. There's been so many programs organized in our cocoa growing areas to educate our farmers on the benefits of sending their children to school. Ghana cocoa board is doing a lot to help it's cocoa farmers. SLAVERY used in this blog is blown outta proportion.

    February 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  3. Mudi Mustapha

    Nestlé knows better what CSR policy stands for as a global brand with far-reaching impact across households the world-over, so it's grossly unthinkable to imagine that Nestle would be disregard implementation of its corporate duty even in Ivory Coast where essentially all it's raw requirement for processing chocolate comes from....
    But far more disturbing is the unrefined comment from the Prime Minister, who is quoted saying "the company is not running a charity organization here". Leaves no better impression about the caliber of politicians and leadership within Ivory Coast and the most parts of Africa where issues of "Child Labor" and other forms of human indignity or slavery exist.

    February 21, 2014 at 5:37 am | Reply
  4. KitKat

    So one of the main problems identified in the CNN videos (I've been reading through most of the posts on this topic) is that the Ivory Coast government sets the price of cocoa, and they set it too low. So the laborers resort to either using free slave child labor, or face not making any money. The question I have is, why does the government set the price so low? Are they being bribed by the chocolate companies? If they are the biggest cocoa producers, surely the chocolate companies would have to buy their cocoa anyway even if prices were higher...

    February 23, 2014 at 8:45 am | Reply


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