Select Page

Chocolate: Does your Choice of Chocolate involve Child Labour?

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Ethical Shopping Blog

The research team at The Good Shopping Guide has published our updated Ethical Rating Table for the Chocolate Sector. Our research covers a broad range of ethical criteria, including whether a company offers Fair Trade, GM-free, and vegetarian/vegan products.

When assessing a range of Chocolate brands, our research revealed that human rights issues, particularly Fair Trade certifications, are of significance within this sector. This is especially pertinent as our research uncovers that several brands have been implicated in human rights concerns, such as slavery and child labour.

Furthermore, many larger companies have introduced their own fair trading schemes, however, as these are self-certified, there is often no external assessment involved. This means companies can set the bar for what is and is not considered ethical and can manipulate it to fit their business model. As such, The Good Shopping Guide disregards such forms of self-certification and promotes independent Ethical Accreditation above all else.

Alternatively, our research found that 1/3 of brands assessed offer Chocolate produced using some form of Fair Trade supply chain. The aim of which is to ensure cocoa farmers fairer pay, job security, and improved working conditions. Whilst it is great to see this level of uptake, it does however mean that 2/3 of Chocolate brands are not incorporating Fair Trade. We hope to see more brands incorporate Fair Trade in the future to safeguard cocoa farmers and give them a better living standard as a subsequent result.

We have also found that whilst most companies receive a top rating for their environmental report, other improvements can be made in our assessment of environmental criteria. Whilst 72% of brands were found to have some form of organic products, only 24% were found to be offering GM-free products. Moreover, several companies have received criticism for their use of unsustainable palm oil in their products, which is associated with deforestation and the destruction of wildlife habitats. We are pleased to see, however, that multiple brands have made improvements in their Animal Welfare policies, with the majority offering vegetarian/vegan options. However, animal rights abuses still remain rife, due to the land clearance and species loss involved in the production of both cocoa and palm oil.

In conclusion, our research has found that whilst the Chocolate sector’s brands have made some improvements in recent years, such as improving their environmental reports and vegetarian/vegan options. Despite this, there are very troubling ongoing issues within this sector, primarily concerning the growth and harvest of cocoa and palm oil, due to the abuse of human and animal rights. Overall small to medium companies are outperforming larger corporations in ethical and sustainable policies and practices. We, therefore, implore the larger companies and brands to take note and review the ethics involved throughout their supply chains.

Recent Articles

Share This