Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa

Côte d’Ivoire (or the Ivory Coast) is the largest producer of cocoa, with over 800,000 small-scale farmers and representing over 40 percent of the world’s supply.  Supplying such companies as Hershey’s, Nestles, ADM as well as many other multi-national companies.

Now this wouldn’t really be a bad thing…except that the Ivory Coast is well documented for using slave labor.  Slaves work long hours for no money, little food, and are treated like disposable machines.

No, strike that.  Machines are actually treated better; if they are damaged they are fixed.

If a slave is hurt or maimed by a machete, they’re simply discarded and replaced because it’s less expensive.

Slaves USED to cost up to $40,000 and so the slave owners at least took care of their “investment.”

Not today.  Modern day slaves can be bought for as little as $30…or free if they’re kidnapped.  So they’re cheap and disposable.

This is wrong and YOU can help by switching to Fair Trade coffee and chocolate.  Halloween is coming…don’t give Americans kids FREE chocolate…harvested by CHILDREN WHO WILL NEVER BE FREE!

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Nestle Says Organic Is Lower in Nutrition – Say WHAT?

Recap of Triple Pundit article (source link at bottom)

“Nestle has a very pro-GMO (genetically modified organism) policy and has invested in GM-coffee research…in 2008, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board of Nestlé S.A. asked policymakers in Europe to re-evaluate their opposition to GMO.

According to him “You have to be rational. There’s no way you can support life on earth if you go straight from farm to table.”

“Nestle owns San Pellegrino water, PowerBar energy bars, and Skinny Cow ice cream, appealing to buyers concerned with health and the environment…technically none of these brands are organic…Nestle’s profits of 34 billion in 2010 has nothing to do with organics.

“Nestle also claims that organic food is lower in nutrition. Several food companies like Nestle, Kraft Foods and Dole Foods actively propagate this notion.”

When I read stuff like this, I just shake my head.  No way to support life on earth from farm to table? Organic food is lower in nutrition? Genetically modified food is good?  WHAT earth does this guy live on ‘cuz it ain’t the same one I live on (should lunatics have their OWN planet?  I’m beginning to think so.)

Let’s see:  good ol’ Pete has no problem with using child slaves for his chocolate, screws with Mother Nature through GMO, pushes poison, kills babies with his baby formula scam…yeah, sounds like an evil person to me. Hey, isn’t this what the anti-christ supposed to be like…remember that from somewhere…says they’re doing good and helping the world (while they’re setting up to get REALLY ugly when they’re in power!) Oh wait, he’s already DONE that.

And now this junior anti-christ Swiss lunatic wants to mess with my coffee? No thanks, Pete…think I’ll keep my organic and BOYCOTT ALL NESTLE PRODUCTS!

Really gotta go find out what all Nestle sells…I don’t want them in my kitchen!  I don’t even want people like this on the same planet.

Posted by Janet Byers

Recapped Article by Akhila Vijayaraghavan, Triple Pundit (dot) com | September 6th, 2011 >> View Full Article

Feelings for the children who aren’t children

How do I feel about the slavery of children?

I feel sick to my stomach… I want to hit something.  It’s not right that little children have their innocence taken from them by being forced to become slaves… for something we pay as little as a quarter for.

Cheap chocolate and coffee… these are what they are stolen, used, and their lives thrown away for.

Coffee kids pick the coffee by hand and are exposed to toxic chemicals that are harmful to their health and the environment.  Will their little bodies absorb so many toxins that their kids will have birth defects?  Probably.  Will they ever go to school or have a chance at a better life?  Probably not.

In order for the children to get the cocoa pods they use machetes;  these same machetes sometimes take off body parts!  The foremen and big corporations who exploit them don’t care… they don’t care that these children are crippled for life…they don’t care that the will never have a normal childhood.

But I care.  Some of these little ones were promised a better life and an education but they don’t get that….what they get are beatings, starvation, and possible dismemberment.  They don’t deserve this; they deserve a real life:  friends, family and an education.  But they are denied that.

Basic happiness, denied.  Freedom, stolen.  Love, destroyed.  This is what happens to children as young as 8… sometimes even younger.

Do any of these children deserve this?  Do they deserve to be beaten, mutilated, starved and kept like animals?  No they don’t… no one does!

Posted by Jason Byers

Cocoa Production: the Cost is too High and too Low

  • A 1998 report from the Ivory Coast office of UNICEF concluded that some Ivory Coast farmers use enslaved children, many of them from Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo.
  • The 2001 report “A Taste of Slavery: How Your Chocolate May be Tainted” won a George Polk Award. It claimed that traffickers promise paid work, housing, and education to children who are forced to labour and undergo severe abuse, that some children are held forcibly on farms and work up to 100 hours per week, and that attempted escapees are beaten. It quoted a former slave: “The beatings were a part of my life” and “when you didn’t hurry, you were beaten.”
  • Some children from Sikasso, Mali, were believed sold as slaves; 15,000 children from Mali, some under age 11, were producing cocoa in the Côte d’Ivoire. Mali’s Save the Children Fund director described “young children carrying 6 kg of cocoa sacks so heavy that they have wounds all over their shoulders.”
  • Many Ivory Coast cocoa plantations use forced labor. A ship was found near West Africa allegedly carrying child slaves.
  • The Chocolate Manufacturers Association acknowledged that slaves harvested some cocoa.
  • S. Chanthavong reported in 2002 that children in neighboring countries are often found traveling or begging and lured to the Ivory Coast, where they are sold.
  • A 2005 report from the International Labor Organization noted that of the 200,000 children working on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, 12,000 are not working with or in the vicinity of their relatives, suggesting possible trafficking in a maximum of 6% of cases of child labor.
  • A 2006 study showed many children working on small farms in the Ivory Coast, often on family farms. Over 11,000 people working on small Ivorian cocoa farms were surveyed.
  • Another book was published: Carol Off, Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet.
  • UNICEF’s Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, stated in 2007 that:

    Likewise, children from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Togo and Mali are brought to Côte d’Ivoire to work in its robust cocoa farming industry, among other outlets for child labour. Their rights are not respected and they are exposed to wide-ranging exploitation and abuse.

  • The International Labor Organization, the BBC and Stop the Traffic released reports on the subject.
  • A report funded by the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that “Industry and the Governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have taken steps to investigate the problem and are implementing projects that address issues identified in the Protocol.”
  • Fortune magazine reported in 2008 that “little progress has been made” in a report featuring responses from Cargill and Hershey’s.

In June 2009, the OECD released a position paper on child labor on West African Cocoa Farms, and launched a website on its Regional Cocoa Initiative.

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All of this pain and suffering comes from us wanting to spend 50 cents on a chocolate bar… we don’t even really consider where it comes form or how much or little the workers are being paid; or in this case little to nothing.  And we ignore it… I mean we’re used to having illegal aliens do our work for us at cheaper prices here… why not do it abroad.  Like in the Ivory Coast, one of the worst slave driven places on the planet.