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Chocolate lovers urged to join boycott

Brisbane Archdiocese's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) is calling on Catholics to join a chocolate boycott for Mother's Day.

The Catholic Leader reports the CJPC wants to increase awareness of the use of child slave in cocoa plantations in Africa and the exploitation of paid plantation workers.

The CJPC has said aside next week (6-12 May) as 'Say No to Chocolate Slaves Week'.

It has sent parishes an information kit and has encouraged school children to mark the week by sending letters and emails to Australian chocolate producers, calling on them to buy only fair trade-certificated cocoa. These certificates guarantee that cocoa was not produced by child slaves or exploited workers.

CJPC executive officer Peter Arndt said West Africa is the giant in cocoa production, producing 67% of the world total.

"The US State Department estimates that 15,000 children work as slaves on cocoa, cotton and coffee plantations in Ivory Coast," Mr Arndt said.

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
The Cost of Cheap Chocolate (Fair Trade UK)

Catholic Leader

3 May 2002