“Sorry to scare you, but on Halloween much of the chocolate Americans will
hand out to trick-or-treaters will be tainted by the labor of enslaved children,”
writes Andrew Korfhage in this October 18, 2010, AlterNet article alleging
that chocolate manufacturers have failed to eradicate child labor practices as
promised. According to the author, Hershey’s and other companies pledged
“nearly a decade ago to set up a system to certify that no producers in their
supply chains use child labor,” but have yet to take any “meaningful action.”

Korfhage credits a 2001 exposé with documenting the “scandalous conditions
under which most U.S. chocolate is made,” noting that the effort spurred
Representative Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to
introduce legislation seeking “slave-free” certification for all U.S. chocolate.
“[B]ut before Harkin’s bill could pass the Senate, the chocolate industry had
announced a voluntary four-year plan to clean up its own supply chains,
without legislation,” claims Korfhage, who cites a recent Tulane University
report finding that “the majority of children exposed to the worst forms of
child labor remain unreached.”

The article concludes by urging consumers to source their chocolate from
companies that “certify their supply chains, via labels such as the Fair Trade
label and the IMO Fair for Life label.” It also calls on the public to contact
lawmakers and “demand by law that slave-produced chocolate doesn’t belong
on the shelves of stores in the USA.”

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.