Of the 90 million pounds of chocolate candies on track to be sold this Halloween, just a tiny fraction will be fair trade.
That’s scary enough, but here’s what’s scarier: It’s been this way for so long, that most people have just come to accept that cocoa farmers work in poverty, that children work in dangerous conditions and that forests around the globe are destroyed for the treats that we hand out to children.
Consumers will buy 300,000 tons of candy—more than $2.5 billion worth—this month.
Not all of it will be chocolate, but a lot of it will be. And much of the chocolate consumers buy will come from three brands—Hershey’s, Mars and Nestlé—companies that admit they won’t meet their self-declared 2020 deadline for eliminating child labor from their supply chains.
That’s not surprising. According to the Washington Post, Big Chocolate companies have set deadlines before, and always failed to meet them.
Child labor isn’t the only issue in conventional chocolate supply chains. But as millions of people stock up on candy to hand out to costumed kiddos who appear at their doors, the cruel irony is unavoidable.
What can you do? If you buy chocolate to hand out this Halloween, make sure it’s a brand that doesn’t allow child labor in its supply chain. Here’s a list.