February 18, 2017

Help Make a Difference - Make Your Chocolate Fair Trade This Easter and All Year Round

Editor: It is Fairtrade Fortnight in Ireland (27 February - 12 March) and for all of us Easter 2017 is on the horizon.Sisters of Mercy and our partners-in-Ministry working on opposing Human Trafficking are once again asking that we choose Fair Trade chocolate this Easter and all year round.


More than 70% of the world’s supply of cocoa comes from two countries nestled on the southern shore of West Africa: Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. There, whole communities are dedicated to growing the crop that is lucrative for governments and international traders, but brings below-poverty wages for the farmers who produce it. Low wages mean farmers cannot hire the labor needed to harvest the crop, and perpetuates the child trafficking and worst forms of child labor that have plagued the industry. Children are exposed to chemicals, long working hours, and the denial of a decent education.

Low prices in the cocoa industry have left smallholder farmers with impoverished incomes and with no choice but to pull their children from school and have them help on the plantation. With low educational access and attendance, families in the cocoa sector are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty. Cocoa producers have little bargaining power against the few large multinational companies that control the supply chain and ultimately determine the livelihoods of farming families. Source: ILRF

Fair Trade chocolate means that cacao farmers are paid a fair price, that they are able to invest in their communities and land, and that their farms are free of forced child labor. By choosing Fair Trade chocolate, you support a system that is better for farmers, their families and the planet. (02:00)

Farmers operating with Fairtrade Certification, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certification and similar stamps (see logos on right) are engaging in good labour practices. An explanation of the labels can be read here.  A list of ethical chocolate companies can be found on this website

When you choose your chocolate this Easter (and from now on) please support them.

The following sites and social media provide information on fair trade products including Easter eggs:


Where to buy Fairtrade products - see the Purchasing Guide

Stop the Traffik - see the Good Chocolate Guide

Fair Trade USA
Equal Exchange Co-op
Global Exchange
Catholic Health USA has produced an Easter-Themed Flyer about the Cocoa Trade

ACRATH - see the Good Egg Guide

General Information about sweatshops can be downloaded here (PDF)

Messages to: MIA Working Group on Human Trafficking c/- Denise Boyle fmdm - Mercy Global Action

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