Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Mmmm Chocolate - Think Green
Time again to join Michelle in Thinking Green.
First, let me say that I am a chocoholic. And my favorite is a plain Hershey bar. I really, really love them. BUT.... and that's a very big BUT.
The Hershey Chocolate Company is one that it seems to me feels it is above things like playing fair or caring about the welfare of others. What else am I to believe, since they are very big on publicity for themselves, which of course adds to their popularity, and therefore to profit. This includes promotions which favor charities. I applaud their contributions to charity. But just how far does this go? Does it go beyond our shores and the children we know?
Far from our country, on the Ivory Coast, the big chocolate manufacturers and distributors must buy their cocoa beans. Many companies, which bring us very fine and very delicious chocolate, have become aware that on the Ivory Coast there are hundreds of people working under horrible conditions - a huge number of them mere children - slave labor. These children, like our own, deserve a better life. They deserve to be in school and playing happily, not toiling day after day to supply us with a treat. And many companies have pledged to buy only FAIR TRADE cocoa, which frees these children, and gives the cocoa farmers a fair price, raising their families' standard of living. Hershey refuses to do this.
In the United States we have a shameful history of slavery. But, thank God, our slaves were freed some time ago, and we like to speak proudly of that. Every time we indulge ourselves by buying from Hershey or any other company refusing the Fair Trade label, we deny the right to be proud.
As much as I love my chocolate, I will not buy it unless I see the Fair Trade logo. It's a very small gesture, but it seems to me the least I can do.