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This is a unique report

'A Matter of Taste' examines what the six biggest chocolate companies, boutique company Tony's Choclonely, the three certifiers and three producer companies are doing to prevent and end human trafficking and child labour in the cocoa farms of West Africa. Never before have these questions been asked.

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The biggest contributor to child labour and human trafficking is extreme poverty

The main reason young boys are trafficked and farmers use child labour in cocoa growing is because the farmers are not earning sufficient to have a living income. A living income is the amount needed for basic housing, food and essentials; plus, small unforeseen expenses. It will also allow families to send their children to school.

We think chocolate companies and producers have a responsibility to seriously address the key issues that contribute to children being trafficked to work on cocoa farms. Large global chocolate companies and producers hold a lot of power within the industry, much more so than the cocoa farmers and farmer co-ops in places like Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, which is the largest producer of cocoa in the world.

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The programs of chocolate companies and others have focussed on training in better farming techniques and management as a way to increase farmers' incomes. This has contributed to an overall increase in yield of 15%. However, the price of cocoa has dropped 30-40%. This leaves the farmers worse off. 

According to a study in the region US$10.86 was needed per working day to have a living income. In another study it was estimated that Cocoa growers in Cote d’Ivoire earn US$0.91 per day per person in the household! No-one is exactly sure but most experts say an increase of three times what farmers are currently paid for the cocoa would get them close to a living income. Not even the current floor prices and premiums offered by certifiers get farmers close to what we think a living income is.

You tell us not to use our children to help on our farmers and then you tell us you are going to pay us 40% less for our cocoa – how does that work?

We are not bad parents, we are just trying to survive.      

Cocoa farming families

We are campaigning for the big global chocolate and producer companies, to uphold a living income through the innovation of programs, premiums and processes. 

4 steps for you to take to help living income become reality and to prevent human trafficking

 

 

1.

Send A Postcard 

Ask the big chocolate companies and cocoa producers to uphold a living income for cocoa farmers.

2. 

Say Thank You

Retailers have increased the certified chocolate products this year. Order some Thank You Cards and take them to your local store. Click the logos to read about the commitments

 

3.  

Find "Good Chocolate"

Help other chocolate consumers buy “good chocolate” and have some fun by getting points for finding “traffik-free” chocolate products.

Our website allows you to upload where you find good chocolate and map it so others know. 

 

4.

Offset Your Consumption

For a cocoa farmer to get close to a living income, a 100gms of dairy milk chocolate would cost about A$0.12 more. An average Australian chocolate consumer would need to pay $60 more per year for their chocolate so a cocoa farmer can get close to earning a living income. We are asking you to donate this amount to STOP THE TRAFFK as your chocolate offset. We will use your donation to campaign with chocolate companies and chocolate producers to raise farmer’s income.

Small-hold famers and their workers harvest more than 90% of the global cocoa production.
West Africa produces around 80% of world’s cocoa.
‘To get to sustainable we’ve got to triple or quadruple the income. That’s the harsh reality of what is needed to get to a living income.’
— Barry Parkin (Chairperson WCF and Mars Global Procurement)
1.9 million Ivorian children are estimated to be in child labour in cocoa growing areas.
— International Cocoa Initiative / Nestle Child Labour report