After writing yesterday’s post I emailed my friends at Theo chocolate to ask if they knew of any more recent information on slavery in Ivory Coast, since the State Department report was from 2000. They wrote back to say there have not been significant changes in the industry since the report came out. They also told me they buy their cocoa beans from the only fair trade certified cooperative in Ivory Coast.
The folks at Theo chocolate referred me to this fascinating webclip from Democracy Now, which features a heated discussion over the chocolate industry between journalist and author Christian Parenti and William Guyton, president of the World Cocoa Foundation. The clip shows video of young boys working in the fields and ends with an interview with Joe Whinney, Theo Chocolate’s president and founder.