The Dark Side Of Chocolate

The Dark Side Of Chocolate

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To learn more about this issue please visit, Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.). Also take a moment to download the Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List App. F.E.P. has created a list with vegan chocolates that we do and do not recommend based on the sourcing of the cocoa. Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List is available as a free app for your smart phone so you can check .

Get it on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.foodispower.chocolatelist

Get it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chocolate-list/id610310122?mt=8

The Dark Side of Chocolate is a 2010 documentary film about the exploitation and slavetrading of African children to harvest chocolate still occurring nearly ten years after the cocoa industry pledged to end it.

In 2001, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association formed an action plan entitled the Harkin-Engel Protocol aimed at ending child trafficking and slave labor in the cocoa industry.

The documentary starts in Cologne, Germany where Mistrati asks several chocolate company representatives whether they are aware of child labour in cocoa farms. In Mali, the film shows that children, having been promised paid work, are taken to towns near the border such as Zegoua, from where another trafficker transports the children over the border on a dirt-bike. Then they are left with a third trafficker who sells the children to farmers for around 250 Euros each.

The children, ranging in age from 10 to 15, are forced to do hard and often hazardous labor, are often beaten, and most are never paid. Most of them stay with the plantation until they die, never seeing their families again. The Harkin-Engel Protocol, an agreement that was signed by the major chocolate companies almost 10 years before the film was made, promised to end the use of child labour.

When confronted with this issue, corporate representatives denied all rumors of child labor and trafficking, but the investigations of the filmmakers brought to light the continued widespread use of trafficked child slaves on cocoa plantations.

Nestle and other companies declined an invitation to watch the film and to answer questions. In response, Mistrati set up a large screen next to Nestle’s headquarters in Switzerland, forcing employees to catch a glimpse of child labor in the cocoa industry.

As a closing edit window to the film, during the credits roll, we see the local police arrive, to ask why they are showing the film outside Nestle’s Head Office in Vevey, Switzerland. The police ask if the film is ‘for or against Nestle’. The reply is “It is not against”. After checking their documents the policeman says “we turn it off”, referring to showing the film.

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About author

Jason Bayless

Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.

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