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This Valentine’s Day Canadians ask Cadbury to bring ethical Easter eggs to Canada

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (Feb. 11, 2015) – Canadians consume an average of 3.9kg of chocolate annually, the equivalent of 1,857 M&Ms. If that’s not enough to give you indigestion, the child labour used in chocolate production might.

Problem: Approximately 2 million children are working in cocoa farming worldwide, with a large concentration in West Africa. Many are trafficked into these exploitive situations, and the risks include:

  • Injuries from machetes used to clear land and cut down cacao pods;
  • Exposure to chemicals, including pesticides;
  • Exhaustion from working long hours in intense heat;
  • Abuse from employers;
  • Poor nutrition and limited access to health care;
  • Jeopardized education

Solution: World Vision has launched a petition (www.bit.ly/ethicalegg) urging Cadbury to deliver an ethical Easter egg to Canada. While the chocolate company has said it will buy most of its cocoa from sources that do not use child labour by 2020, the aid agency – and a growing number of Canadians – want Cadbury to boost that commitment by offering more ethically-certified products in Canada, especially a Fairtrade chocolate Easter egg.

In Australia, Cadbury already offers a Fairtrade Easter egg, and Canadians would like that same option, says World Vision. In Canada, Cadbury currently offers a Fairtrade-certified Dairy Milk bar, which is featured in World Vision’s recently updated Good Chocolate Guide (www.goodchocolateguide.ca). Whether on-line, or in line, Canadian shoppers can use this mobile-friendly guide to find chocolate that aims to keep children out of dangerous work.

QUOTES
“With approximately 2 million children working in cocoa farming worldwide, efforts by chocolate companies to source ethical cocoa and stop child labour exploitation are critically important.” – Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision’s No Child for Sale awareness campaign. 

“I am thrilled by how many people have signed the petition so far – it’s proof that Canadians want to help bring an end to children doing dirty, dangerous and degrading work, especially in the cocoa industry.” – Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision’s No Child for Sale awareness campaign. 

FACTS
  • 85 million children are doing dirty, dangerous and degrading work around the world. Agriculture remains by the far the biggest sector, particularly in Africa. (International Labour Organization
  • An estimated 1.8 million children work in cocoa farming in West Africa. (Tulane University)
  • Approximately 95 percent of the chocolate sold around the world today is not certified to be free from the use of forced, child or trafficked labour. (Ten Campaign)

RESOURCES 

CONTACT
Britt Hamilton – cell: 416-419-1321, Britt_Hamilton@worldvision.ca

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre worldvision.ca/mediacentre

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