Valentine’s Day is almost here and if you’re one of the 70% of people in the U.S. who expresses your feelings with chocolate and flowers, we need to talk. That heart-shaped box of chocolates and dozen roses are the end products of supply chains that are anything but loving to farmers, their workers, and the planet.
Cheap Chocolate Has Cruel Consequences:
Low cocoa prices are pushing cocoa farmers in West Africa to desperate measures. For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, cocoa farmers earn just $0.50 per day. That’s in a region where poverty is defined as $2 per day and “dire poverty” is $1.25 per day. Desperate to earn any income possible, even children are pressed into hard work and forced labor is also common. In Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire alone, an estimated 2.1 million children work dangerous jobs and hours that interferes with their schooling—and that number is going up not down, according to recent studies.