Mum urges: buy ethical chocolate eggs this Easter
GYMPIE mother Faieza Moodaley wants parents to think before they buy chocolate eggs this Easter.
Mrs Moodaley is urging everyone buy ethical chocolate eggs and help stamp out child exploitation in Africa.
She claims children are bought for as little as $A338 (€230) to work indefinitely on cocoa plantations and the majority of them are never paid.
"As I watch my kids play outside, it's almost impossible to imagine that on the Ivory Coast in Africa, a child as young as seven is using a machete to harvest cocoa beans," Mrs Moodaley said.
"The cocoa plantation farmer can sell those cocoa beans at one euro a kilo (about $A1.50) to chocolate manufacturers so our families can consume chocolate this Easter and every other day - not knowing it took the sweat and tears of a child to produce the chocolate."
Mrs Moodaley said a 46 minute YouTube documentary, The Dark Side of Chocolate, shows how the children are taken from their families and forced to live in conditions where there is no time to play or enjoy the things all kids should.
"They are often injured at work by machetes and are exposed to pesticides," she said.
"These children work 80 to 100 hours a week. Many try to flee but are unsuccessful."
Mrs Moodaley said the top 10 chocolate manufacturing companies grossed $A91,886 million ($US86,314) in combined sales for the 2013 year.
"The country on the south coast of West Africa should be enjoying the rewards of their farming, especially those children who are spending the majority of their lives toiling outside."
The majority of chocolate manufacturers signed the Harkin-Engel protocol in 2001, in which leading chocolate manufacturers promised to eradicate child labour.
About a third of child labour has since been reduced, but more consumers need to be made aware to keep the momentum going.
World Vision states that today, less than 5% of the world's chocolate is ethical, made without cocoa harvested using forced or trafficked child labour.
"To ensure these chocolate manufacturing companies responsibly and morally clean up their supply chain we, as consumers, need to be aware and actively take responsibility," Mrs Moodaley said.
"Buy chocolate which has the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified logos, to ensure you buy ethical chocolate."
Readers can find a listing of ethical chocolates in the good Chocolate Guide to Australia, on the World Vision website.