The company that owns the brand Cadbury is newly facing allegations of employing child labor after an investigation gathered footage of children using machetes on cocoa farms in its chain of supply.
Reportedly, children as young as 10 have been working in Ghana in order to harvest cocoa pods to supply to Mondelēz International, the owner of Cadbury.
According to campaigners, the farmers are being paid less than £2 per day of work and are not able to hire adult workers. The reports come just twenty years after the chocolate industry promised to eliminate child labor in the sector.
“It’s horrifying to see these children using these long machetes, which are sometimes half their height,” said Ayn Riggs, the founder of Slave Free Chocolate, which advocates against child labor in cocoa farms. “Chocolate companies promised to clean this up over 20 years ago. They knew they were profiting from child labor and have shirked their promises.”
The news comes as a significant amount of money is set to be spent on chocolate treats for the celebration of the Easter holiday.
Over £300 is spent on Easter eggs and other novelties each year, which includes more than 80 million boxed eggs. Right now, the chocolate market is worth roughly £5.6 billion in the United Kingdom. That includes roughly 330 million Cadbury Crème eggs that are consumed every year.
Mondelēz, which last year raked in global profits amounting to more than £3.3 billion, has a sustainability program called Cocoa Life. The logo is featured on its products, including Cadbury Dairy Milk, and the website states: “no amount of child labour in the cocoa supply chain should be acceptable.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST