The Dark Side of Chocolate

The Dark Side of Chocolate

2010, Society  -   37 Comments
8.41
12345678910
Ratings: 8.41/10 from 167 users.

The Dark Side of ChocolateWhile we enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate, the reality is strikingly different for African children.

In 2001 consumers around the world were outraged to discover that child labor and slavery, trafficking, and other abuses existed on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, a country that produces nearly half the world's cocoa. An avalanche of negative publicity and consumer demands for answers and solutions soon followed.

Two members of US Congress, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and Representative Eliot Engel of New York, tackled the issue by adding a rider to an agricultural bill proposing a federal system to certify and label chocolate products as slave free.

The measure passed the House of Representatives and created a potential disaster for Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland Mars, Hershey's, Nestle, Barry Callebaut, Saf-Cacao and other chocolate manufacturers. To avoid legislation that would have forced chocolate companies to label their products with "no child labor" labels (for which many major chocolate manufacturers wouldn't qualify), the industry fought back and finally agreed to a voluntary protocol to end abusive and forced child labor on cocoa farms by 2005.

The chocolate industry fought back. Ultimately, a compromise was reached to end child labor on Ivory Coast cocoa farms by 2005. In 2005 the cocoa industry failed to comply with the protocol’s terms, and a new deadline for 2008 was established. In 2008 the terms of the protocol were still not met, and yet another deadline for 2010 was set.

Almost a decade after the chocolate companies, concerned governments and specially foundations spent millions of dollars in an effort to eradicate child labor and trafficking in the international cocoa trade, has anything changed?

Miki Mistrati and U Roberto Romano launch a behind-the-scenes investigation and verify if these allegations of child labor in the chocolate industry are present today.

More great documentaries

guest

37 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mya
Mya
6 years ago

I used to love chocolate before watching this documentary I was so oblivious of this horrid child trafficking and labour system! But I decided that I will not buy chocolates anymore until these companies take action against this situation. It starts with the consumers: if they stop buying the products, a difference can be made. Maybe not soon but eventually...

Eddekum
Eddekum
8 years ago

Basically we a feeding the system and its population while we are left out.....I think we must know who we are and stand as one

michael
michael
8 years ago

Oh let them police themselves. That's sure to work. Yea right.

Thanh
Thanh
10 years ago

I used to think Nestle is a great company, but from now on, my viewpoint has changed. If in the future I work in an agricultural products processing firms, or any companies concerned with food, it will never be Nestle, Kraft, Mars...
Please do business clean!

emma
emma
10 years ago

I am not eating chocolate any more

KAM7
KAM7
11 years ago

27:55 to 28:10 says it all. What a liar. Not to mention the shifty eyes.

Lucas Dawkins
Lucas Dawkins
11 years ago

Another example of slaves in poor countries, making the first-world corporations rich, and powerful to the point of them being untouchable. I'm ashamed of the human race.?

Dre
Dre
11 years ago

Will NEVER see white children or people going through **** like this.

reflectivemood
reflectivemood
11 years ago

One of the explanations I can think of is that adult workers can join their strenghth and fight for their rights, wages etc. if necessary, while little boys and girls are defenceless and distraught under these conditions esp. when they have been trafficked and are far away from their homes.A sad and very sobering documentary.Yet another example that slavery is still around us in the 21 century.

mia
mia
12 years ago

I love chocolate. But now, I will quit my occasional addiction escape. Good documentary. And I agree, they were most courageous to make this. I hope the African rescuers will not be harmed for willfully or unwillfully providing information.

Like it or not, we are living in a capitalistic world, so vote with your dollar.

KsDevil
KsDevil
13 years ago

That certainly makes choclate a bitter treat. I might have brusged it off if the parents had made a lagitemit contract to have their older children do the light and safe parts of cocoa farming, but slave labor is unforgivable. I can't believe there are no adults around to perform all of these jobs at a fair wage. Also, more proof that corporate corruption is the standard, not the exception.

pattye
pattye
13 years ago

Thanks for the "on-site investigation." Well done. Now, on to the next chapter where we ask Hershey to "Raise the Bar" and Nestle to go to mars!

Sorin
Sorin
13 years ago

The international law states that child labour is illegal, also that any child has the right to a home and education. This documentary and all you *cry babies* only talk about is the first part and ignore the second part. These children must support their family (it's a different culture) and get beaten if they come home without any money or food. So stop pointing the finger at major companies and stop comparing Africa to your way of life.

idealpointer
idealpointer
13 years ago

standing ovation for that doc, NESTLE will never get another cent out of me whilst they continue to ignore and support the practices under which they acquire their cocoa and make billions of dollars a year from the use of child slave labour. Not only do they turn a blind eye, but they fund the whole operation by continuing to buy cheap cocoa to maximise profits for their companies.. shame on ALL CHOCOLATE FACTORIES!!!

robbiebell
robbiebell
13 years ago

Its not Capitalism you pea brains its the pisshole goverments of ivory Coast ,Mali who could not giv a S*** Africa still has SLAVERY of its own ,by its own!!!!! The Dark Continent is not a slogan

Colete
Colete
13 years ago

In preparation to watch this documentary, I took my favorite chocolate next to me, broke it on pieces and started eating it... Expecting the documentary was going to be about the negative health sides of the chocolate, I was suprised to see a different story... A bitter taste stayed in my mouth throughout the film.

Dirk Johnson
Dirk Johnson
13 years ago

The Free Market at work? Hands off the market and everything goes smoothly, eh?

Dirk Johnson
Dirk Johnson
13 years ago

The Free Market at work? Hands off the market and everything goes smoothly, eh?

Vladimir Petkovic
Vladimir Petkovic
13 years ago

no words!!! what do ppl do damn it !?

how come no one there to shoot those bustards misusing kids and ppl.

Poor Afrikan ppl getting constantly exploited by us.

whaaaat?:)) they called the Police!??damn government and "democracy ..no wonder I do not like nestle anymore.

Jack1952
Jack1952
13 years ago

Chocolate is the product centered out in the documentary. Unfortunately, almost every product one can name has a dark history behind it. It would almost be impossible to buy only products where workers have not been severely exploited. It is the reality of a global economy that has its roots in capitalism

Sharron Stokieshazer Hardwick
Sharron Stokieshazer Hardwick
13 years ago

This is disgraceful chocolate that is not Fair Trade is sick - it should be boycotted by all of us then the companies will have to act!! This must be stopped! Only we as consumers can stop it.

Karenwasherefirst
Karenwasherefirst
13 years ago

Poverty sucks, especially when to the solution is so simple: SHARE the wealth

Ella Silver
Ella Silver
13 years ago

All my friends tease me because i really dislike chocolate. They say jokingly that i don't have a soul.

Pardon me.. Just enjoying the smug feeling.

eugler
eugler
13 years ago

Nestle once again. And once again those pitiful people have nothing to do with it but profit only "by accident". I'd love to stop by their place sometime, all that is needed is a torch, a pitchfork and some friendly neighours...

equidae
equidae
13 years ago

All I can really wonder at is the reasoning behind showing their sources faces and such. They claim there's a certain amount of risk in working against these traffickers, and that certainly seems plausible. But if so aren't the men/women doing so who are most at risk, the ones who do so while living in these places. Thus it seems like quite a risk, even for those of them who may no longer be actively fighting these crimes. Wonders?

François-Mathieu Hotte
François-Mathieu Hotte
13 years ago

Capitalism serve fresh everyday!
Sick, as always.
Nobody gives ashite about Africa or African!
What de hek is this thing about a protocol in 2005,2008 and 2010.
It's right f****** now!
If we act like that in the world, don't expect peacefull resolution to the world problems while we are spreading that NUTELA on our morning toast.
You bunch of hypocrite!
This document really make me mad.