MISSISSAUGA, ON - Today World Vision launched its Good Chocolate Guide to help Canadians shop for Valentine's treats they can trust not to contain any dark secrets. Whether they're on-line or in line, shoppers can use the mobile-friendly guide to find chocolate products that are ethically certified to be child-labour free.
According to the aid agency, child slavery and trafficking is an ongoing problem in the cocoa industry, particularly in West Africa. The risks for children who work on cacao plantations 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
"Tackling child labour is not only up to companies who earn profits from chocolate, but also consumers who get pleasure from it. World Vision's Good Chocolate Guide will help Canadians indulge in their favourite treats while still being ethical and protecting children," said Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision's No Child for Sale awareness campaign.
"Camino's product portfolio includes over 75 products, primarily chocolate based, all of which are Fair Trade and Organic," said Jeff Mains, chief executive officer of Camino, a Canadian company featured in the Good Chocolate Guide. "Our direct relationships with our producer partners, along with the Fairtrade certification and logo, is the consumer's assurance that every ingredient from Bean to Camino Bar has been ethically sourced."
- 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)
Twitter hashtag: #GoodChocolate