Monday, February 24, 2020

Chocolate Exploitation

In West Africa, where 60% of the world's cocoa is grown, the average female cocoa farmer earns as little as 23p a day., highlighting a gender pay gap in the global chocolate industry, according to Fairtrade. That figure is well below the extreme global poverty line of £1.40 a day.

The UK chocolate industry is worth at least £4bn a year, with Britons consuming more per person than any other European country.
In the Ivory Coast, despite carrying out 68% of the labour, which involves planting and harvesting, hacking cocoa pods, fermenting, drying and bagging up the cocoa beans - as well as domestic duties in the home - women have fewer rights than men, receive less money and are often landless.
"Often the woman does two thirds of the work for less than a third of the income, meaning a bitter taste to the sweet treat," Louisa Cox, director of impact at the Fairtrade Foundation, said. "If the cocoa industry is serious about a long-term sustainable future for their business then they must truly sweeten the deal and invest more in the women behind our chocolate."

Julia Nicoara, director of public engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "Many of us don't know the bitter truth of exploited farmers behind much of our chocolate, with women doing much more of the work for much less of the pay."

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