Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Dark Side of Chocolate--Who’s Paying for your Sweet Tooth?

It is certainly not the first time allegations of slave labor have surfaced in the coca industry, but the documentary film, The Dark Side of Chocolate, takes the conversation to the next level. In The Dark Side of Chocolate, film creators Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano go undercover to the Ivory Coast, to see for themselves what really goes on.

While numerous accusations have been made over the years, so too, have the denials. There is no doubt that laws are in place which prohibit child labor and child trafficking, yet children continue to be victimized. The accused hide behind screwy loop holes in the laws and are sometimes aided by corrupt public officials. The discussion quickly turns into your typical he said, she said, scenario.

While authorities in Africa continued to deny these allegations, Mistrati and Romano’s hidden cameras tell us a different story. Children between the ages of 12-15, some as young as 7, were seen working on these coca plantations. The working conditions on these plantations are deplorable and become unimaginable when you think of a child. No child should ever be subjected to exploitation; period.

If there is one point that I can make in this post, it is that an informed consumer, is a smart consumer (and a better friend to the exploited). It is sometimes hard to make the connection between a 7-year-old-child, working a plantation in Mali, to the chocolate bar we buy in the local food store, but that is the connection you need to make, because this is what is happening.

The Dark Side of Chocolate takes us on a journey to the truth, in their ground breaking documentary on labor trafficking. Watch it and be informed.

I may think twice before I pick up a chocolate bar- will you?

To find out more about this film, please visit

1 comment:

  1. As a chocolate blogger I've read many articles on the subject, but I haven't found an opportunity to see this MUST-SEE film. I live in a small village in Mexico and it isn't available here. I'll be getting my own copy when I travel to the states in a few months. As they say, "A picture tells a thousand words". In my article on "Is Chocolate Healthy" I recommend consumers choose Fair Trade chocolate, but I know it is my responsibility to help inform chocolate consumers of this very sad situation and I will.