Category Archives: chocolate

Where is the fight on chocolate now?–> Target on Nestle’s chest.

Here is a list of the recent progress made in the STOPTHETRAFFIK campaign against slave labor currently used in harvesting over 35% of the world’s cocoa beans. (Can be found on their website here.)

Six weeks after launching STOP THE TRAFFIK’s March on Mars campaign, Mars made an announcement.

They have promised to make their GLOBAL product range traffik free by 2020, starting with Galaxy bars in the UK and Ireland next year.

Mars are giving us a short term commitment with Galaxy bars while we keep asking for evidence of long term, global change.
STOP THE TRAFFIK chocolate campaign developments:

* July 2008:
Verkade committed to 100% fairtrade cocoa and sugar in their chocolate bars in Netherlands from autumn 2008
* February 2009:
Swiss Noir committed to fairtrade cocoa in their chocolate bars in Netherlands from March 2009
* March 2009:
Cadbury committed to fairtrade Dairy Milk in the UK and Ireland from autumn 2009
* April 2009:
Mars committed to Rainforest Alliance cocoa in Galaxy bars in the UK and Ireland from 2010 and across their whole product range globally by 2020

STOP THE TRAFFIK congratulates Verkade, Swiss Noir, Cadbury and MARS.

By continuing to call upon chocolate manufacturers to only use Fairly Traded cocoa in their products and by only buying Fair Trade chocolate ourselves, we can create a world in which chocolate doesn’t leave a bitter after taste.

Great progress has been made!… but the chocolate industries’ LONG history of broken promises is well documented…

Read a fact sheet PDF here about this.

Read the “short-and-sweet” version here.

Note that Nestle’… the world’s largest food company, one of the major chocolate suppliers…. is not listed as making ANY progress here.

Not surprising, given Nestle’s ATROCIOUS human rights record over the years… their negligence in the past and present has led to millions of deaths and human rights violations.

Nestle got in big trouble in the 1970s and 80s for pushing formula in the developing world when they KNEW it was directly causing malnutrition in infants… this website shows that even though Nestle was punished, they have not improved much at all. (scroll half-way down to see a list of their human rights violations.)

Nestle has been the subject of boycott and documentary, and (possibly as a result) they have an extensive section on their website committed to “current issues.” (Found here.)

Look for a mention of forced and child labor. Go ahead, look for it.

That’s because it’s not there.

I even downloaded Nestle’s “Around the Globe” PDF, to see if they make any mention of their harvesting practices at all. This was all I could find, on page 40 of the PDF:

We source our agricultural raw materials – principally
milk, coffee, cocoa, cereals, vegetables, fruit, herbs,
sugar and spices – either through trade channels or
directly from farmers.
Although we don’t have control over the farms, we
support sustainability in the supply of agricultural raw
materials and agricultural best practices. To put these
words into action, we have over 800 of our own
agronomists, technical advisers and field technicians.
Their job is to provide technical assistance to more than
400,000 farmers throughout the world to improve their
production quality, as well as their output and efficiency….

It goes on to emphasize how these “specialists” have helped farmers create better yields of coffee and milk, thus, according to them, Nestle is “contribut(ing) to improving their standard of living.” (caption on page 40).

What a snow job. Better yield doesn’t mean better pay, if you’re only paying farmers peanuts in the first place. It just means that you end up with more coffee and milk to sell.

And they don’t mention cocoa there…. except in the one highlighted instance…. and is sure to emphasize soon after that “we don’t have control over the farms.”

Um, sure you do. You buy from them. You can refuse to purchase cocoa harvested by slave labor. Mars, Verkade, and other companies have begun to do this (in part); you can too.

The annoying part to me was, as I read this corporate statement, how much Nestle claims to be a “human” company, how much they claim to care about employees and the people who use their products….

To misquote Shakespeare: Methinks they doth protest too much.

Everyone, click HERE to download a letter provided by STOPTHETRAFFIK to send to Nestle.

To email them, go to this web address (send enough to crash it!):

Their US address is: 800 North Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA91203

Here’s a “child-friendly” version.

If you get a response, use THIS template for a second letter.

THEN— STOP BUYING ALL NESTLE PRODUCTS. That means Nestle, Cherrios, Shredded Wheat, Enviga, Gerber, Nespresso, Nescafe, Nestea, KitKat, Dreyers Ice Cream, Friskies, Purina, Coffemate, LeanCuisine, Stouffers, Carnation, and Alcon.


Posted by on August 20, 2009 in chocolate, justice