Monday, February 27, 2006

yes it's corporate appreciation week here in the blog-o-sphere

the corporate week idea came from lose the noose and consider the boot
do you know where your chocolate comes from? no? well perhaps from now on every time you buy something with cocoa in it, you’ll think twice about who is gathering up that cocoa and why. i do hope you also think twice about which corporation to buy it from as well
(cross posted from ravings of a semi-sane madwoman)

this (in part) is from the international labor rights fund
Tell Nestle to Stop buying Child Made Cocoa Nestle & Cocoa Nestle USA is a part of Nestle SA in Vevey, Switzerland -- the world's largest food company and also the subject of one of the world's longest running boycotts. For over twenty years Nestle has faced continued pressure from consumers to end its agressive and irresonsible promotion of infant formula - a policy that has cost the lives of over 1.5 million infants around the world. But Nestle's irresponsible attitude towards children doesn't end there. As a leading exporter of cocoa from the Ivory Coast, Nestle has also been implicated in the ongoing abuse and torture of child cocoa laborers…….. ………International Labor Rights Fund has also filed a lawsuit in 2005 against Nestle, Cargil and ADM on behalf of Malian children who were trafficked from Mali into the Ivory Coast and forced to work twelve to fourteen hours a day with no pay, little food and sleep, and frequent beatings………..

this is in part from the milwaukee journal sentinel yes, it was a 2001 article but suit was brought forth in 2005. as far as i know, ALL of these companies are STILL abusing humans (and who knows about animals and the earth)
ADM plant makes Milwaukee a key site in chocolate business By TOM DAYKIN of the Journal Sentinel staff Last Updated: June 23, 2001
The fruits of African slave labor might be found in Milwaukee, home of cocoa processor ADM Cocoa. ADM Cocoa, a subsidiary of Decatur, Ill.-based agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland Co., operates a cocoa processing plant at 12500 W. Carmen Ave., on Milwaukee's far northwest side. Like other U.S. and European cocoa processors, ADM Cocoa uses cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, as a raw ingredient to make chocolate. An investigation by Knight Ridder News Service has revealed that some cocoa beans are harvested in the Ivory Coast by child slave labor, and are mixed with beans harvested legitimately before being sold to chocolate makers. U.S. chocolate makers at first said they weren't aware that slaves - mostly preteen and teenage boys - were used to harvest cocoa beans purchased in Africa. After Knight Ridder began inquiring about the use of slaves on Ivory Coast cocoa farms, however, the Vienna, Va.-based Chocolate Manufacturers Association in late April acknowledged that a problem might exist and said it strongly condemned "these practices wherever they may occur."…………..

and this - please note some changes ‘don’t have to occur until 2008’. 2008? DO NOT BUY CHOCOLATE from companies that use forced labor or child labor. YOU DON’T NEED IT THAT BADLY
ADM targeted in lawsuit alleging forced labor in cocoa farming By Amy Hoak
DECATUR -- Willy Wonka may be having a fine time at the box office this summer, but real life chocolate makers have a federal lawsuit on their hands. One of them resides in our back yard. Archer Daniels Midland Co. is one of three companies named in a federal lawsuit that alleges the industry's involvement in the trafficking, torture and forced labor of children who cultivate and harvest cocoa beans. Nestle and Cargill Inc. also are named in the lawsuit filed earlier this month in Federal District Court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit was filed by the Washington, D.C.-based International Labor Rights Fund on behalf of children who were trafficked from Mali into the Ivory Coast and forced to work 12- to 14-hour days, according to the fund's news release. The children allegedly received no pay, little food or sleep and frequent beatings. It also was filed in the wake of the chocolate industry's missed July 1 federal deadline to develop standards for monitoring and certifying African suppliers, an attempt to keep tabs on the labor practices of cocoa farming operations. ADM's response: These changes take time. "The effort to obtain accurate information regarding labor conditions in the West African cocoa sector and to respond appropriately is complicated and difficult and will take the cooperation of many interested parties over an extended period of time," ADM said in a statement posted on its Web site. "Plans for investigating and addressing labor concerns must be informed by the local culture, beliefs, economics and infrastructure." In the release, ADM also noted that since 2001, more than 1,000 farmers attended training programs for co-operatives in Cote d'Ivoire. ADM personnel trained them on topics of cocoa quality, child labor, working conditions and HIV/AIDS awareness. The industry's efforts weren't enough for San Francisco-based Global Exchange, which joined the lawsuit under California's unfair business practice law. The organization alleges no effective steps have been taken to address the child labor problem and, further, that companies have led the public to believe otherwise. But the response from industry was enough for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York. The two developed the Harkin-Engel Protocol in 2001 to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. When the July 2005 deadline for certification standards was missed, the two expressed disappointment coupled with a willingness to allow industry more time to address the problem. Under the Protocol, the industry now is expected to roll out a certification system, which includes monitoring, data analysis, reporting and activities to address the worst forms of child labor -- aggressively in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana -- by July 2008. Support for programs to improve conditions in the farming communities is also expected.

here is a great reference source CHOCOLATE AND SLAVERY: CHILD LABOR IN COTE D'IVOIRE

and from the global exchange
Harkin-Engel Protocol on Chocolate and Child Slavery Expires on July 1
Human Rights Groups Say the Chocolate Industry Broke Its Promise to Eradicate Illegal Child Labor from Chocolate Production; Call for Legislation Global Exchange/ILRF June 30, 2005 CONTACT: Jamie Guzzi, Global Exchange, 415-575-5538, cell 415-505-7427 Natacha Thys, ILRF, 202-347-4100 ext.110 San Francisco, CA -- July 1, 2005 will mark the expiration of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, a voluntary protocol agreed to by the chocolate industry to ensure U.S. chocolate products aren't made using illegal child labor. Eyewitness reports from the field confirm that the industry has failed to fulfill its promise to monitor and certify by July 2005 that the cocoa it imports is not made by forced child labor. Thus, Global Exchange, an international human rights group based in San Francisco, and the International Labor Rights Fund, an advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, are calling on the US government to step in and end the use of illegal child labor by the U.S. chocolate industry………..

here is a partial listing of SLAVERY FREE CHOCOLATE SOURCES
SLAVERY FREE CHOCOLATE To Support Slave-free and Fair Trade Chocolate The human rights group Global Exchange is launching a "Fair Trade Cocoa" campaign this Valentine's Day to get the slave labor out of your chocolate. See globalexchange.org/cocoa for more information. Also, Steven Millman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent letters to over 200 chocolate companies, asking if they used cocoa which might be tainted with child slave labor. He posted their responses, and his list of best chocolate companies at RadicalThought.org. Here's a short (incomplete) list of companies known to sell slavery-free chocolate and cocoa products:
Clif Bar
Cloud Nine
Dagoba Organic Chocolate
Denman Island Chocolate
Gardners Candies
Green and Black's
Kailua Candy Company
Koppers Chocolate
L.A. Burdick Chocolates
La Siembre Montezuma's Chocolates
Newman's Own Organics
Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company
Rapunzel Pure Organics
The Endangered Species Chocolate Company
Note: No organic beans are produced in Ivory Coast, but an organic label is no guarantee that the product is slave-free. Newman's Own, however, is both. Newman's Own contracts with Costa Rica producers who are closely monitored to comply with labor laws and organic standards. (Source: Food Revolution, by John Robbins)

2 comments:

Eddie said...

I heard something about the cocoa scandals just a week or so ago, on either All Things Considered or Marketplace; so even if the links you found are older, the problem is still the same. One of the companies involved formed an "investigative task force" to study the problem, and they'll have the results in about 700,000 years.

I remember the Nestlé formula stuff from the Seventies and haven't trusted that company, or willingly bought any of their products, since.

a rose is a rose said...

thanks for the comment eddie! i did find more recent articles. this is one corp watch. i did post it at my other blog, just forgot to do it at this one. i'm going to cross post all of my corporate week entries...........