Eating chocolate can help to build schools.
“Chocolate is ground from the beans of happiness,” someone once said. Most people would agree that eating chocolate makes them feel happy. Is that true for you too?
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, most of which are grown in West Africa. The workers who harvest the beans are often children. Other ingredients of chocolate, including sugar, palm oil, and nuts also often utilize child labor for their harvests. These children work twelve to sixteen exhausting hours in the fields every day, leaving them no time for school or play. Sometimes they are forced to work without any pay at all. For them, chocolate really doesn’t mean happiness.
However, there is organizations that try to change that and help the farmers. These organizations regularly visit cocoa growers and make sure they pay their workers high enough salaries so that their families can afford a decent living. They also make sure, that parts of the money consumers pay for the chocolate is invested in schools or healthcare facilities.
So if you buy the right kind of chocolate, you can make a big difference in the lives of those children. Isn’t that a great reason to ask your parents for another treat?
Fair Trade USA
One of those organizations who certify that the cocoa (and many other products like coffee or fruit, nuts, tea, seafood or sugar) has been grown and harvested in a sustainable way that protects workers and environment is Fair Trade USA. Check FairTradeUSA.org to learn more about their work.
What you can do
Make sure you look for labels like “Direct trade”, “Rainforest Alliance” or “FairTrade” next time you buy chocolate, sugar, fruit, seafood or many other products.