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Slavery In The Chocolate Industry

Submitted By: Abhinav Juneja Ankur Singhal Muskan Mohan Priyanka Gupta Shilpa Chakrawarti

Submitted To. Prof S.k Bose


The case lavery in the Chocolate Industrydiscusses labor S exploitation in the chocolate industry. It specifically addresses the cocoa beans grown on farms in West Africa, especially the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which make up close to half of the world chocolate. The cocoa farmers of these nations, however, s often rely on slaves to harvest their beans, and in some cases, enslavement of young males This case discusses the various ethical issues, whether the slavery is viewed as absolutely wrong or relatively wrong, and who shares in the moral responsibility for the slavery occurring in the chocolate industry.

What are the systemic, corporate and individual ethical issues raised by this case?
Firstly, from the point of systemic ethical issue, economic

systems should be taken into consideration. Between 1996 and 2000, cocoa bean prices had declined. The decline was dictated by the global forces over which farmers had no control. With low prices, farmers turned to slavery to try to cut labor cost for their survival in this situation. There is another systemic issue relates to the legal aspect of slavery in the chocolate industry. Actually, slavery on farms is illegal in the Ivory Coast but the law is rarely enforced. Open borders, a shortage of enforcement officers, and the willingness of local officials to accept bribes from members of the slave trade all contribute to the problem.

Secondly- corporate ethical issue raised by the case. Middlemen who grind and process cocoa beans they acquire from the Ivory Coast and sell the product to manufacturers. So middlemen aware of the slavery labor problem. After the media attention and anti slavery group activities, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, the members of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation, together with several human rights groups and the Ivory Coast. signed Memorandum of Cooperation. They also agreed to establish a system of certification. But the problem is, they can not control over anything. Because there are 1 million cocoa farms, most of them family farms and they located in remote rural regions.

Lastly, there are some individual ethical issues in the case. Cocoa farmers are at the center of the issue. Because, it is illegal to use child slavery labor. Also it is immorally wrong to take someone unwillingly. The second issue is the consumers who knows the problem, company names and continues to consumer their products. Consumers should not ignore it, because with every chocolate they buy, they contribute the continuation of the slavery in chocolate industry.

In your view, is the kind of child slavery discussed in this case absolutely wrong no matter what, or is it only relatively wrong, i.e., if one happens to live in a society (like ours) that disapproves of slavery?

I think the answer varies in culture to culture. But in my opinion, there is no way to accept child slavery. Children are kidnapped, sold and forced into harvesting. Farmers are beating them. From my point of view, children should not be used for labor. They should have a right to choose their lifestyle. They should have education and then contribute the countrys economy and welfare. Regardless of the society one may live in, I think child labor is absolutely wrong.

Who shares in the moral responsibility for the slavery occurring in the chocolate industry: African farmers? African governments? American chocolate companies like Hershey, Mars, Nestle and Kraft foods? Distributors like Archer Daniels Midland Co. , Barry Callebaut, and Cargill Inc? Consumers like you and I who know about the situation but continue to purchase tainted chocolate?

What we believe, African Farmers, African governments, American

chocolate companies, distributors, consumers and people who know the situation, shares in the moral responsibility for the slavery occurring in the chocolate industry. African farmers use child slavery labor. African government do not control over the rules. Middlemen buys cocoa beans from farmers who use slavery labor.

American chocolate companies know farmers use slavery labor and they continue to work them.
If we know the company names and continue to buy

chocolate from them, we are also morally responsible for the child slavery labor. As a result, all actors in the industry are responsible.

Chocolate With Love