The Cost of Your Halloween Candy

November 3, 2010

A recent blog posting on website of the International Vision Collective, dedicated to promoting universal values awareness,tells us of child worker exploitation in the cocoa-growing industry in Ghana and the Ivory Coast by the Hershey Company, the largest American candy producer and a purveyor of many Halloween treats from Almond Joy to Kit-Kat. See, Fair Trade Chocolate Trumps Hershey's this Halloween.

Tulane University Law School’s Payson Center for International Development recently reported on the use of child labor in the cocoa sector in West Africa, citing Hershey as one company that needs to more closely supervise its supply chain.  In response, many NGOs have called upon Hershey to undertake fair trade practices and the abolition of child labor in the cocoa industry. Hershey is alleged to be the only U.S. chocolate manufacturer that has failed to adopt any type of labor certification, i.e., to have their labor practices monitored by an organization that screens for the abuse of labor rights.

In recent months the Yale Law Library has been increasing it collection of materials dealing with global food issues. Examples of books recently added to the collection include: Ensuring Global Food Safety: Exploring Global Harmonization edited by Christine Boisrobert; The New Regulation and Governance of Food: Beyond the Food Crisis by Terry Marsden; and, Food Crises and the WTO: World Trade Forum by Baris Karapinar and Christian Haberli.

A quick search of Labordoc, a bibliographic service of the International Labour Organization (ILO), brought up a report from 1996 entitled, Child labour and cocoa production in West Africa: The case of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana,  and another from 2007, Rooting out child labour from cocoa farms.

                                                                                                                            ---- Daniel Wade

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