The Dark Side of Chocolate

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Rating: 9.4/10 based on 79 votes cast.
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While 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.

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  • Jamesmcoy

    really shocking stuff ! somethings in life you just take for granted :(

  • Elena Fi

    thank you for sharing!

  • Shaz

    feel so helpless

  • Mariposa

    It is disgusting that some people in the world(CORPORATIONS) are contributing to such immorality,one of the lowest thing to do to innocent pure human being ( children ).!FOR WHAT! . JUST TO MAKE MONEY . LIFE IS ALREADY HARD WHY MAKE IT HARDER TO THIS LITTLES HUMANS.AND GUESS WHAT WHEN YOU DIE YOU CAN NOT BRING YOUR MONEY WITH YOU , BUT YOUR MEMORIES.THANK YOU FOR THIS DOCUMENTARY.

  • Th111

    I wrote to Nestle, Mars & KRAFT to let them know I will not purchase any products until
    accountability is exercised and social wrongs are corrected.

    I advised friends and family to do the same.

    Billions of dollars and “no” power, welcome to the dark side. 10/10

  • Y72

    Shame on the Corporate Companys , Showing no pitty on Innocant Small Children

  • Y72

    Shame on the Corporate Companys , Showing no pitty on Innocant Small Children

  • Sdgdsg

    Greed..WE SHOULD ALL FEEL ASHAMED..w many people will stop eating chocolate even after seeing the documentary?

  • dissodent other

    Buy Fairtrade. Some Nestle chocolates and a lot of cadbury ones use fairtrade. It has proven to make farmers accountable and actually strives to better their economic and social condition by making corps like nestle pay a fair price for the product along with a premium to aid in sustainable development. There is another BBC documentary on it and they show and actually scrutinize the fairtrade process and go over the cocoa trade in depth like this one.

    It is called the Bitter Truth and it is a BBC Panorama doc:

  • J Hymers

    Cadbury still get their palm oil from questionable sources… I am going to make it a point to get the word out. thank you fro sharing.

  • Buy Backlinks

    Good video, yet it’s despicable what the major chocolate companies do to make their money.

  • Anonymous

    A fascinating but disturbing doc. How can things like this still go on ? No responsible company can say that it is not accountable for every stage of the manufacturing of their products.Yet again we see that money is more important than Human lives, but how many of us who have seen this doc will say how disgusting it is but still go on buying chocolate & perpetuate these crimes against Humanity ?

  • Aa

    Wow, who knew chocolate was made out of little african kids? Great documentary

  • Marno

    i wonder at capitalism. 

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  • Unicha

    As a chocolate lover, this documentary was a real eye-opener for me, makes me aware of the sad and illegal process that goes on before I buy my nicely-packaged product. So how can I change my buying habits? I’m not going to stop eating chocolate so I need to find a socially responsible alternative. Is Fairtrade any better? For example Cadburys Fairtrade chocolate products….can I be sure that they haven’t also used kids in their cocoa production??

  • guest

    Makes me not want to purchase or eat any chocolate.

  • momo

    Thank-you for this documentary. I can’t believe this is so rampant in the cocoa industry and that corporations seem to be so careless. I think I’ll give up chocolate and cocoa.

    • momo

      I think I’ll avoid buying anything labelled Nestle or Kraft as well. The companies involved are so wealthy and powerful, yet they seem to take no action in a problem they should be well aware of. Children are precious and it’s sad to see this widespread slavery exists in 2011.

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  • Solo

    Thanks everyone, who made/make any effort to change this horrible situation! I will share this movie with all my friends! I will also write a letter to Nestle & etc companies with a message, that I stop buying their products! I will purchase Fair-trade chocolate from now! People from all over the world, let unite! When there is unity, there is power! 

    • Infinity_1952

      Hello Solo, I agree with your sentiment. However, these companies signed the Harken-Engle Protocol 10 years ago, and still use child labor. I pledge to boycott them, even after they change their ways, because during that decade, they kept making money on the backs of kidnapped children. They need to lose it all.

      • Roel

        There are also a few chocolate companies that actually try to improve the situation cocoa farmers are in. The small Dutch chocolate company Tony’s Chocolonely has been founded around 2005 to do so.. instead of boycotting chocolate companies, you could support companies that are trying to help the farmers and are buying slave-free chocolate..

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  • Mitar Djuraskovic

    What is the situation today? Is it a little better? 

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  • polo

    i would never eat chocolate

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  • Momoka

    why chocolate is so sweet? too sweet to be true, Bitter Valentain’s day 2012.

  • Fran

    After watching this I don’t think I will be able to look at chocolate again in the same way…… I would be happy to pay extra money for chocolate, if thats what it takes for these companies to hire adults legally.  

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  • Arabella Wraye

    The grim reality is what else is there for these children? They come from a culture where they are expected to go out to work as early as 6 or 7. There is a huge overpopulation problem and parents cannot feed their children. Watch this film again and compare the kids at the plantation to the kids in the village scenes. It’s the difference of eating every day. I believe the kidnapping and poor work conditions must be stopped. But look at the girl who was willing to work and did not want to go home to angry parents. There is obviously, although sadly, especially by western thinking, a pool of children who need work to eat and survive. It is hard to be worried about pesticide symptoms 30 years in the future when you haven’t eaten in 3 days.Is it right that a child work? It is the reality. Do you honestly think those kids clustered around the huts are going to school? What is the survival rate of plantation kids to village kids? It’s not pretty and there are no easy answers.

  • Jim. McElderry

    you know WHAAAT?
    IT Lokd God, and was very insitful
    i lvd te touch of adding ther CHOCOLATES whihc i LOVE!!!!
    BUt i certinly wont be eting eny =enyomor

  • David.

    how ya’ll doing brothers,
    I hope YOAull be making a campaign Out Of thIS .
    thank you ever so much,

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  • soupofdefish

    Whatever nothing will change and all be damned if I’m going to stop eating chocolate. Waste of time and effort on behalf of the film maker.

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