Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

Don’t let Valentine’s chocolate hurt children, urges World Vision

February 7, 2013

- Good Chocolate Guide now available -

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 7, 2013 /CNW/ – Planning to give chocolates to
your Valentine? Show you really care by choosing treats that are free of child labour, urges World
Vision, an international development agency that works in countries
such as Ghana where children are slaving on cacao plantations.

“The bitter truth is children are doing dirty, dangerous and degrading
work in the chocolate industry,” says Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of
World Vision’s End Child Slavery campaign.

“They get hurt swinging machetes to cut down cacao pods. They get sick
from pesticides and toil in extreme heat with little pay, poor
nutrition and no health care. They’re separated from their families and
can even be abused by employers,” adds Hotchkiss.

Guilty Pleasure

        --  About 95 per cent of chocolate sold worldwide is still not
            certified to be free of child, forced or trafficked labour.

        --  Approximately two million children are involved in cacao
            farming worldwide, the majority in West Africa.

        --  Canadians consume on average 5.5 kg of chocolate each year -
            the equivalent of nearly 2,600 M & M's.

As part of a global initiative lead by the chocolate industry, most – but not all – large companies have declared they will use only
ethical cocoa in all of their products by 2020. However, they are not
consistently working with third-party certification organizations, such
as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ, to monitor and verify that
their cocoa is ethical, says World Vision. The agency is currently
working on a Chocolate Report Card that will inform Canadians about the
chocolate products they consume.

“Child labour in supply chains is not an easy problem to solve. But if
public pressure can bring more ethical chocolate to store shelves in
Europe, we can use our consumer power to do the same in Canada,” says

Craving Change?

      1. World Vision's new
         Good Chocolate Guide
         lists ethical chocolate brands and products that can be found in
         many Canadian grocery stores or smaller specialty stores.

      2. Use the new ChocoFinder
         website and app to find Canadian chocolatiers that sell ethical
         products. The app is available for free through the iTunes App

      3. Enter World Vision's
         on Twitter to win a basket of ethical chocolates.

      4. Learn more
         about child labour in the chocolate industry.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
organization dedicated to working with children, families and
communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our
News Centre at

SOURCE World Vision Canada – Marketing Communications – Public Relations

Image with caption: “Approximately ninety-five per cent of chocolate sold globally is not certified to be free of child, forced, or trafficked labour. This Valentine’s Day, check out World Vision’s Good Chocolate Guide to find ethical options for loved ones. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada – Marketing Communications – Public Relations)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130207_C3673_PHOTO_EN_23391.jpg

Source: PR Newswire