Halloween is a time when kids binge on chocolate and candies.
But one group wants you to think about the children on the other end of chocolate–the children who might be producing it. Amanda Kloer, director of organizing for change.org, said Hershey is well aware of child-labor issues in the cocoa industry. Ten years ago, Heshey and some other major chocolate companies signed an agreement to try to reduce it. “A decade later now, we’re at the point where a lot of the other major chocolate companies have gone a long way towards improving their supply chain,” said Kloer, “but unfortunately Hershey has really fallen behind their competitors in that aspect.” Activists have formed “Raise the Bar, Hershey!” trying to convince the company to commit to buying fair-trade cocoa.Using change.org they collected 100,000 signatures. By this Halloween, they want Hershey to commit to producing just one candy bar using all fair-trade chocolate. Think: a fair-trade Kit Kat. The coalition also wants Hershey to created a more transparent supply chain. Andy McCormick, Vice President of Public Affairs for Hershey, said the company has been working in West Africa for 50 years combat labor abuses.”We understand that any child in child labor is unacceptable to us,” said McCormick, “and we’re working hard with many partners to make sure that doesn’t happen.” In fact, he’s in Ghana right now, working on some sustainable farming initiatives. He said Hershey’s direct efforts with farmers and farmers’ families will do more good than just buying fair trade cocoa. And that fair trade Kit Kat? Don’t expect it in your candy bag anytime soon.