Hershey Listens…

and Reveals Timeline to Transition to Certified Cocoa Sources Two weeks ago, I attended the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG) hosted by the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.  I was disappointed in what I heard from the Hershey company. Five months after Hershey’s October 2012 announcement of plans to certify the company’s cocoa supply chain by 2020, all Hershey had to offer the CLCCG was its minor support of  CocoaLink, a text messaging program for farmers in Ghana.  It remains to be seen whether or not CocoaLink is effective in preventing child labor, as their has been no data reported on the issue.  What we do know is that 30% of the messages sent focus on social issues, a portion of which mention child labor specifically.   This program reaches fewer than 1% of Ghanaian farmers, and can demonstrate no measurable effect on the child labor problem.  The program has yet to be introduced in Cote D’Ivoire. Green America and our allies in the “Raise the Bar, Hershey coalition” reacted by immediately releasing a public comparison of the social-justice commitments of the big chocolate companies. One week later, on March 21, Hershey updated the terms of its commitment, pledging for the first time that 10 percent of its cocoa purchases will be certified by the end of this year.   We’ve seen that constant vigilance and pressure pays off in pushing companies to do the right thing.  We’ll hold Hershey to its new 10-percent by 2013 commitment, and we’ll keep pushing the company […]

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Update from the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group

clccg

On March 12, 2013 nearly 100 interested stakeholders met to discuss the progress made in the last year by the programs of the Joint Declaration of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, towards reducing child labor in the cocoa sectors of Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana. The Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG) task force came together in September 2010 to support the implementation of the […]

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More Proof of Child Labor in Apple’s Supply Chain

IPAD

The UK Guardian newspaper published last week that Apple’s own internal audits have now turned up multiple child-labor violations in its Chinese factories.  The audit found more than 100 children under the age of 16 at 11 factories.  The same report found incidences of other violations, including mandatory pregnancy tests, confiscation of workers’ wages to pay off recruitment agencies, and […]

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Encounters with Cocoa

Cocoa Pods. The cocoa bean is in the center, surrounded by pulp.

After nearly three years of campaigning on cocoa issues, it was very exciting to see real cocoa pods in person. Because cocoa can only grow in tropical climates, roughly 15 degrees north and south of the equator, it’s not a crop that will flourish in the United States.  The cocoa pod is denser than I expected, and very much shaped […]

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Day 1 in Abidjan

Our NGO roundtable discussion on our aspirations for the conference.

My first day in Abidjan was a packed and productive.  A number of the groups representing civil society and farmer organizations got together to discuss our desired outcomes for the week. The World Cocoa Conference, billed as the “First and Only Global Cocoa Forum“, is one of the first attempts of the various stakeholders in the cocoa supply chain to come together and […]

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Blogging From Abidjan

Here we go! Puffy clouds in the sky en route to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.

For the next ten days I will be in Abidjan representing Green America, the Raise the Bar Campaign, and thousands of conscientious American consumers at the World Cocoa Conference 2012.  I just arrived in Abidjan after a long flight from the San Francisco Green Festival, via Paris. But, I’m very excited for what lies ahead this week. Several campaigners from Europe (see […]

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5 Healthy Trick-or-Treat Alternatives

This is a guest post by Wendy Yu. With Halloween just a week away, it’s time to start stocking up on Halloween candy to give the kids that come by the house. With all the different candies out there to choose from, how do you find the healthiest options? Here are 5 healthy Halloween treat alternatives: 1- LÄRABAR bars: these bars have a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients, so you know that they keep it simple. Apple Pie provides 1 full serving of fruit and 5 grams of fiber. Not too sweet, and spiced with cinnamon and raisins, Apple Pie also has almonds, walnuts and natural chewy goodness. 2- Endangered Species Organic Dark Chocolate Bug Bites : Each of these squares contains a fun and educational insect trading card. They have 70% cocoa content and is certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher. Another great thing about this chocolate is sourced from ethically traded cacao farms, which ensures  responsible labor practices and sustainable farming. 3- Unreal 54: similar to chocolate covered peanuts, these sweets delights contain no corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no artificial ingredients, no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), no preservatives, and a low glycemic index. 4- Surf Sweets Gummy Bears: I’m a huge fan of gummy bears, so it’s great to find a healthier version of these sweet little gummy bears.  Surf Sweets Gummy Bears are made with organic fruit juice and organic sweeteners. Also contains 100% […]

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Top Tips From Green Bloggers: How to Green your Halloween

This is a guest post compiled by Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson of Celebrate Green Summer’s long over. School is back in session. And that means Halloween is knocking at your door. We thought that in addition to reminding you to check out GreenHalloween for ideas, we’d pass on some tips from our fellow green bloggers. 1. From green blogger and independent crafter Becky Striepe, comes an idea for a simple Halloween scrap banner. And if you’re into banners, here’s a paper one we created last year. 2. Do you read Healthy Home magazine? If not, you should. You can get awesome ideas for all things healthy and green, like this BPA-free pumpkin puree that’s easier than pie to make. 3. Lots of parents today are opting out of masks and choosing face paints instead. But these can contain chemicals that you don’t want on your children’s skin. What to do? Make your own! You can check out our recipe here, and for more ideas, check out this article on Greenwala by Danika Carter, or this one from Diane MacEachern at Big Green Purse. 4. Great tips on avoiding GMO sugar this Halloween from My Healthy Green Family. 5. Emily Roach at Random Recycling loves roasting pumpkins seeds. Here’s her recipe. 6. From Robbie Schneider at Going Green Mama, what to do with that mammoth Halloween stash. 7. The Smart Mama, Jennifer Taggart, suggests using tee tree oil to keep your carved Jack-o-lantern from molding. And Danika Carter, from Your Organic Life says adding those little silica gel packets works well too. 8. And finally, […]

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