Be warned. If you do not already know the following information, be prepared to have your world rocked and forever changed (it better be anyway).
Just yesterday I found out that most large chocolate-selling corporations are buying their cocoa beans from farmers that use child labor.
What, you mean that chocolate bar I just bought the other day was probably made from cocoa beans harvested by a 10 year old, machete-carrying child from Ghana who was kidnapped from his family to work for nothing? You mean I've been supporting that my whole life?
It makes you a little sick doesn't it?
And yet, why should this surprise us? I mean, I buy fair trade coffee for the same and similar reasons, to treat people fairly and give them an equal chance at living life. Why would it be different for chocolate? Or the clothes we wear? Those fancy shoes that sit in our closets? Those toys our children play with?
Have I overwhelmed you yet?
I really don't want to, even as I sit here overwhelmed myself, I don't want to drag you down and make you heavy with the miseries of the world. But we need to know this, don't we? We need to change this, don't we?
This is a big deal, and fighting it will not be easy. Research, sacrifice (a piddly sacrifice in the grand scheme of things), and spreading the word are absolutely necessary. As much as my sweet tooth tells me otherwise, chocolate is not a necessity. If I am not willing to buy fair trade, I don't deserve the luxury of eating it at all. What if that were my child? Stolen in the night, sold by a relative, now working long hours with dangerous equipment, no school, no family, no hope. It breaks my heart and makes me want to punch some faces. But that wouldn't solve anything. Boycotting might. Educating might. Standing up, speaking out, and acting might. Can we do this? Can you do this? The answer is yes. So be willing.
Please read the following blog post on this topic and watch the documentary. You will not regret it in the long run, even if it's hard to face at first.
For starters, how about we only hand out fair trade chocolate for Halloween? Spread the word people. Don't hesitate to do what's right.
Learn more about Fair Trade and what brands sell ethical chocolate here:
I will end with a quote from one of my favorite bloggers:
I hope and pray that my desire to worship Him is more than lip-service. I hope and pray that we are never too overwhelmed, or worse yet, too indifferent to act. I hope we all find a way to actively and consistently "Do justice - love mercy - walk humbly with you God".