The Sweet and often Bitter truth about Easter Chocolate
One indisputable truth. Chocolate is delicious. We know this because at Easter Australians spend millions of dollars buying hundreds of kilograms of chocolate to eat and give away.
Another indisputable truth is that the cost of some chocolate is a child’s education, and sometimes his or her freedom. That’s because much of our chocolate is made using cocoa beans harvested by children, often in the West African region.
So, as we move into Lent here’s a snapshot of chocolate
- Chocolate tastes great. Slavery-free chocolate tastes even better.
- Eat slavery-free chocolate and be assured it has not been produced using the forced labour of children.
- Slavery-free chocolate is chocolate that is certified. Look for chocolate with one of these three logos on it – Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance.
- Australians will purchase over $200 million in chocolate this Easter. This figure comes from a 2018 report by IBISWorld which said Australia’s chocolate spend had risen by $26 million over the past five years (up to 2018).
- Much of this chocolate is produced using cocoa beans that are NOT certified slavery-free.
- Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years, according to a 2017 report by the International Labour Organisation*. And a great many of these children are in the cocoa industry, picking the cocoa beans used to produce chocolate.
- It’s a fair bet that these children will not get to eat any chocolate at Easter.
- The Australian Modern Slavery Act (2018) requires that large companies report about their work to address the risk of slavery in their supply chains. This is a great start, but let’s not leave it to the big companies; we can all now ask for slavery-free goods.
How to change things
- Buy chocolate that is certified slavery-free.
- Tell at least five other people about slavery-free chocolate and encourage them to buy it too. They will discover how delicious it tastes.
- Enjoy making a difference.
- If you are putting together a fundraising chocolate raffle for your school or workplace, make sure it only contains chocolate that is certified slavery-free. Consider giving the profits of your raffle to CARITAS, which works to ensure people are not forced into slavery and forced labour.
Where to buy chocolate that is certified slavery-free
There are some slavery-free chocolates available in most large supermarkets. Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand has a comprehensive list of slavery-free certified chocolates. Find it at: http://fairtrade.com.au/Fairtrade-Products/Chocolate-cocoa
Here are just a few other suggestions:
Haighs – it might cost a bit more but it’s delicious
Alter Eco – in some stores and worth the looking
Green and Black’s – yes please
ALDI has lots – check out their stores
ACRATH has developed notices for your parish, school or workplace bulletin.
Find them here: Easter chocolate notices
For more information on Easter chocolate go to: https://acrath.org.au/take-action/slavery-free-easter/
Catholic Education Melbourne, ACRATH and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne have produced a kit to help begin to make your school, hospital or workplace slavery-free. It has lots of valuable information about chocolate and also tea and coffee. Find it at: https://resource-macs.com/slavery-free-resources/
For information contact:
Jess Brady – CEM
P: 03 9267 0228
Rosie Hoban – ACRATH
M: 0431 471 046