“Big Chocolate” brings in $83 billion per year. Where does all this money end up?

Cocoa Infographic v3

The global chocolate industry commands more than $83 billion annually, but how much of this gets back to the farmers? Since most chocolate on US store shelves comes from West Africa, Green America has been persistently pressuring US cocoa companies to step up and take care of the workers—and child laborers—in their supply chains. This infographic traces the conventional cocoa supply […]

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October Means Chocolate. This Year Choose Responsibly.

Beatrice Asante KUAPA JAN 2009 016

Last year, Americans collectively spent more than $2 billion on Halloween candy. This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that the average person will spend nearly $80 on Halloween items, including candy, costume, and decorations! What if all this money went to support businesses committed to people and planet, rather than conventional businesses, with little regard for workers’ rights or […]

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Spotlight on Hershey, 2 Years Later

anti hershey rally

Exactly two years ago, Hershey announced it would source only ethically certified cocoa by 2020. This announcement came after years of pressure on Hershey to prevent child labor on West African cocoa farms from Green America members and our allies Two years later, we’re checking on Hershey’s progress and on how these commitments have impacted cocoa growing communities. But first, […]

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A Fair Deal for Global Sugar Workers

My colleagues Martha van Gelder and Tracy Fernandez Rysavy have been sharing their experience with kicking the sugar habit on this blog for the past week or so. We’ve all been delving deeply into sugar issues recently, working to prepare “Sickeningly Sweet,” the latest issue of our Green American magazine, all about the American sugar habit, and its effects on our bodies and our health. For my part, I confess to being a little stunned at the amount of sugar Americans consume per capita, partially because I don’t tend to consume that much sugar myself.   I don’t keep any sugar-boosted foods in my house — no soda pop, no sugary breakfast cereals, no sweet treats like boxed cookies or or ice cream, and no processed snacks with hidden sugars.   I don’t even put sugar in my coffee, and if a recipe calls for a bit of sweetness, I’m likely to either leave the sugar out, or replace with a few drops of organic honey, maple syrup, or molasses.

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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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The Gifts I’m Sharing With My Relatives and Friends This Holiday Season

showing-the-branch

On my vacation this year from my work as Green America’s online editor and coordinator of our People & Planet Award for green businesses, I had the good fortune to visit the headquarters of Canaan Fair Trade, and spend a week harvesting olives with the Fair Trade cooperatives organized in around the city of Jenin in the Palestinian territories. Canaan […]

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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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