A matter of taste: New report on trafficking and child labour in the chocolate industry

I am pleased to share that Stop The Traffik and Baptist World Aid have released an important new report on the role chocolate manufacturers and certifiers are playing in combating human trafficking and child labour in the cocoa industry. 

A Matter of Taste was produced in consultation with Influence Global and The Voice Network.

Since 2001 there has been increasing attention on the global chocolate industry and its response to exploitation in cocoa growing regions of West Africa. In recent years however it has become apparent to those advocating for change in the sector that a more nuanced approach to assessing interventions to overcome the root causes of exploitation and labour rights abuses in the region.

Where once the only credible assurance against exploitation in supply chains was through the use of ethical certification, multinational companies are increasingly turning to third-party auditing of their own social development programs. This is increasing the pace of change, but there is still a long way to go.

Stop The Traffik identifies ten core components that contribute to ending trafficking and child labour. With companies focusing on different elements most appropriate to their operations and interests, a direct comparison of the 'good' vs 'bad' practices is less pertinent.

For the first time a report has given an overview of the six biggest chocolate companies in the world (who produce around 80% of the world's chocolate) and the three big certifiers to see what they are doing to help prevent and respond to these forms of exploitation in West Africa.

Influence Global provided technical and editorial advice to Stop The Traffik on human trafficking, child labour, ethical certification and corporate interventions to improve social development and address exploitation. This included best practice interventions to prevent, respond to and remedy human rights abuses in supply chains. The opinions given in the report however are those of the authors, Stop The Traffik and Baptist World Aid.

You can access the full and summary report, Stop The Traffik's guide to 'good' chocolate and show your support for the campaign here