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触目惊心:这个行业还在大规模剥削童工

触目惊心:这个行业还在大规模剥削童工

Vivienne Walt 2020年10月21日
过去十年,生活在加纳和科特迪瓦的5岁至17岁儿童中,在两国的可可种植园中工作的比例竟然提高了14个百分点。

在象牙海岸科特迪瓦,一名曾经在种植园里工作的童工展示他收割可可使用的大砍刀。美国劳工部的最新报告显示,西非可可种植园普遍存在使用童工的现象。图片来源:JüRGEN B?TZ—PICTURE ALLIANCE/GETTY IMAGES

本月,美国人开始为万圣节囤积巧克力,但他们或许应该想想一个令人心寒的统计数据:在科特迪瓦和加纳,有约156万名儿童正在从事沉重的体力劳动,收割制作巧克力的原料可可,这些童工中最小的只有5岁。这两个西非国家供应了全球约70%的可可豆,这些可可豆是好时(Hershey)、玛氏(Mars)和雀巢(Nestlé)等公司制作巧克力棒和糖果的原材料。

这个估算数据来自美国劳工部(U.S. Department of Labor)耗资近350万美元,委托芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)调研机构NORC编写的一份重要报告。该报告于10月19日正式发布。这份长达300页的报告中提到,过去十年,生活在加纳和科特迪瓦的5岁至17岁儿童中,在两国的可可种植园中工作的比例竟然提高了14个百分点,从31%提高到45%。

虽然报告中没有充分揭示童工比例提高的原因,但报告称部分原因可能是过去10年,可可产量提高了约60%,吸引越来越多儿童到种植园收割可可豆。

此外,约95%的儿童在可可种植园内曾经一次或多次遭遇过严重危险,包括挥舞锋利的大砍刀砍下橄榄球大小的可可豆荚,或者在喷洒过农药的土地上工作等。NORC对去年收获季节的数千个可可种植园的调查发现,种植园内的农药使用量在五年内增加了20%。报告称:“在可可农场里的大部分儿童要从事沉重的劳动,负责开荒,还要接触农业化肥。儿童报告的伤害事件似乎体现了与可可种植业有关的危害带来的后果。”

读完这篇报告让人深感不安。同样令反童工活动人士担忧和愤怒的是,公司和可可贸易商早在近20年前就承诺要解决童工问题,但至今仍未解决。根据美国国会批准的一份2001年的协议,业内八家最大的公司同意到2020年之前,消除70%最糟糕的滥用童工的现象,现在早已过了该协议的截止日期。协议中的2005年、2010年和2015年中期目标都未能实现。

10月19日,世界可可基金会(World Cocoa Foundation)称计划到2025年,将其反童工项目扩展到所有可可种植户,并将投入约12亿美元,向可可种植户支付高于市场价的可可豆购买价格。世界可可基金会有100家会员公司,占到整个行业的约80%左右。在该报告发布的同时,世界可可基金会的主席理查德?史考贝在一份声明中说:“如报告所示,今天依旧有太多儿童在可可种植园里做着他们这个年龄难以承担的劳动,这可能让他们置身于危险当中。可可供应链中应该杜绝童工。”

但在许多人眼中,巧克力公司解决童工问题的努力行动迟缓,而且非常勉强。

纽约州民主党众议员艾略特?恩格尔参与发起了2000年的《哈金-恩格尔协议》(Harkin-Engel Protocol)。他说:“巧克力行业以及其他行业只想得过且过,因为他们厌恶这件事。”恩格尔现任美国众议院外交事务委员会主席。上周,他在向国际劳工组织(International Labor Organization)、美国劳工部(U.S. Department of Labor)和联合国儿童基金会(Unicef)报告时表示,需要加大力度解决童工问题。他说:“我们需要行业配合我们,而不是在这个问题上与我们作对。”

而反对可可种植园滥用童工的活动人士说得更加直白。

他们形容价值1,000亿美元的巧克力行业,其高额销售收入与非洲可可种植户的赤贫形成鲜明对比,令人震撼。有人估计,许多可可种植户每天的收入约为1美元,根本买不起一根巧克力棒。伊泰勒?休古奈特研究过新报告后说道:“我认为这种行为极其可耻。”休古奈特是位于华盛顿特区的环保组织“非凡地球”(Mighty Earth)的高级活动主管。非凡地球多年来一直致力于推动改善可可种植业。休古奈特说:“如果这些孩子是白人,我们肯定不会允许这种情况发生。”

不过10月19日的报告中并非全是坏消息,其中也提到了改进的迹象。例如,可可种植园中的156万童工少于五年前的报告中预测的约200万人,但早期的预测目前被认为存在计算错误。

随着消费者对童工问题日益关注,位于明尼苏达州威札塔的嘉吉(Cargill)和瑞士公司雀巢等巧克力巨头都开始大力兴建学校、监控可可种植园,以及提高种植户的意识。位于日内瓦的国际可可行动组织(International Cocoa Initiative)的执行董事尼克?韦瑟里尔说:“过去五年,要求巧克力公司进行尽职调查的呼声越来越高,公司已经开始意识到了相关风险,并采取了相应的措施。现在它们在扩大行动的规模。”国际可可行动组织是由巧克力行业参与创建的一家独立机构。韦瑟里尔形容NORC的报告中“有令人警醒的事实、更低的预估和个别改善的迹象。”

NORC报告的草案早在几周前已经分享给巧克力公司和可可贸易商,在报告中有一个小文本框提到了巧克力行业对报告的回应。文中写到巧克力行业在可可种植区了出资兴建了新学校、收集了童工数据,并扩大了培训项目的范围。

这些巧克力公司的网站上也在大肆宣扬这些项目,因为它们要努力摆脱与可可种植园里的童工有关的糟糕的公众形象。这种形象与公司销售的美味产品完全不符。

例如,嘉吉在其网站上称:“我们有责任保证儿童在上学时间以外在农场里工作,没有受到经济上的剥削,身体不会受到伤害,也不会影响学习或玩耍。”该公司在这份有关童工问题的声明中用了一张孩子们踢足球的插图。在雀巢的网站上,在一张一个非洲孩子在教室写字的照片旁边,公司称“普及优质教育是提升儿童权利和打击童工问题的重要工具”,并表示公司与同行携手,将在2030年之前在可可种植区内投资兴建1万座小学。雀巢和嘉吉都是世界可可基金会的主要成员。

但巧克力行业的批评者指出了一个重要的问题:根据2000年达成的《哈金-恩格尔协议》,巧克力行业同意做到自律。这让巧克力公司避免了任何与童工有关的法律诉讼。

位于华盛顿的国际人权倡议组织(International Rights Advocates)的执行董事特里?科灵斯沃思认为:“没有任何能够让它们承担后果的机制。”该组织代表一群儿童对嘉吉和雀巢提起了诉讼。这些儿童称他们被非法贩卖到可可种植园,并被迫在那里劳动。本案将于12月在美国最高法院开庭审理。科灵斯沃思表示,巧克力公司现在承诺到2025年之前消除童工现象,“它们实际上是在说:‘我们在尝试阻止童工现象的过程中可以使用童工。’真是太讽刺了。”

尽管大型巧克力公司称它们为反童工项目做了大量努力,但在反童工的活动人士在上周接受的多次采访中均表示,他们担心巧克力公司的项目不会有太大影响。

NORC的报告估计,这些项目只能够影响20%的种植户,但非政府组织认为该报告估算的比例有些过高。芝加哥企业问责实验室(Corporate Accountability Lab)的法务总监查瑞迪?赖尔森在去年年末曾经参观过可可种植园。他说:“我们问种植户:‘你们为嘉吉生产可可。他们的项目有什么影响?’他们说:‘我们并不知道在为嘉吉生产可可,而且我们也从来没有见过任何项目。’”

可可种植园的顽疾

事实上,可可种植业的结构碎片化,而且种植户多在偏远、贫困的农村地区,导致童工问题很难解决。与数十年来一直在使用童工的咖啡或钴行业不同,可可种植业中没有成规模的可可生产商。

相反,绝大多数可可种植园都是只有几英亩大小的小家庭作坊。种植户把可可豆卖给当地合作社,或者经常也会卖给骑着摩托车经过的贸易商。贸易商从种植户那里买到可可豆之后,再转售给供应链的上游。要接触到数以万计的种植户并不容易。韦瑟里尔说:“童工问题的根源在于:种植户的贫困和缺乏替代收入来源。有许多公司可以解决这个问题,但它们不愿意承担责任。”

从可可种植业的童工变成全球性问题已经过去了20年,从大型巧克力公司承诺在供应链中消除童工现象也已经过去了20多年,但童工问题的解决似乎依旧遥遥无期。反童工的非政府机构警告,新冠疫情迫使学校停课,使贫困加剧,可能再次导致所有行业的童工大幅增加。

近几年,公平贸易(Fair Trade)的认证泛滥,让一些消费者误以为巧克力公司现在会以道德的方式生产巧克力。事实上,这些机构表示,公平贸易标签是指向种植户或合作社支付溢价,但这对于种植户极端贫困的处境来说只是杯水车薪。赖尔森说道:“消费者以为:‘种植户被赋予了更大的权利。’而这完全与事实不符。”(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

本月,美国人开始为万圣节囤积巧克力,但他们或许应该想想一个令人心寒的统计数据:在科特迪瓦和加纳,有约156万名儿童正在从事沉重的体力劳动,收割制作巧克力的原料可可,这些童工中最小的只有5岁。这两个西非国家供应了全球约70%的可可豆,这些可可豆是好时(Hershey)、玛氏(Mars)和雀巢(Nestlé)等公司制作巧克力棒和糖果的原材料。

这个估算数据来自美国劳工部(U.S. Department of Labor)耗资近350万美元,委托芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)调研机构NORC编写的一份重要报告。该报告于10月19日正式发布。这份长达300页的报告中提到,过去十年,生活在加纳和科特迪瓦的5岁至17岁儿童中,在两国的可可种植园中工作的比例竟然提高了14个百分点,从31%提高到45%。

虽然报告中没有充分揭示童工比例提高的原因,但报告称部分原因可能是过去10年,可可产量提高了约60%,吸引越来越多儿童到种植园收割可可豆。

此外,约95%的儿童在可可种植园内曾经一次或多次遭遇过严重危险,包括挥舞锋利的大砍刀砍下橄榄球大小的可可豆荚,或者在喷洒过农药的土地上工作等。NORC对去年收获季节的数千个可可种植园的调查发现,种植园内的农药使用量在五年内增加了20%。报告称:“在可可农场里的大部分儿童要从事沉重的劳动,负责开荒,还要接触农业化肥。儿童报告的伤害事件似乎体现了与可可种植业有关的危害带来的后果。”

读完这篇报告让人深感不安。同样令反童工活动人士担忧和愤怒的是,公司和可可贸易商早在近20年前就承诺要解决童工问题,但至今仍未解决。根据美国国会批准的一份2001年的协议,业内八家最大的公司同意到2020年之前,消除70%最糟糕的滥用童工的现象,现在早已过了该协议的截止日期。协议中的2005年、2010年和2015年中期目标都未能实现。

10月19日,世界可可基金会(World Cocoa Foundation)称计划到2025年,将其反童工项目扩展到所有可可种植户,并将投入约12亿美元,向可可种植户支付高于市场价的可可豆购买价格。世界可可基金会有100家会员公司,占到整个行业的约80%左右。在该报告发布的同时,世界可可基金会的主席理查德?史考贝在一份声明中说:“如报告所示,今天依旧有太多儿童在可可种植园里做着他们这个年龄难以承担的劳动,这可能让他们置身于危险当中。可可供应链中应该杜绝童工。”

但在许多人眼中,巧克力公司解决童工问题的努力行动迟缓,而且非常勉强。

纽约州民主党众议员艾略特?恩格尔参与发起了2000年的《哈金-恩格尔协议》(Harkin-Engel Protocol)。他说:“巧克力行业以及其他行业只想得过且过,因为他们厌恶这件事。”恩格尔现任美国众议院外交事务委员会主席。上周,他在向国际劳工组织(International Labor Organization)、美国劳工部(U.S. Department of Labor)和联合国儿童基金会(Unicef)报告时表示,需要加大力度解决童工问题。他说:“我们需要行业配合我们,而不是在这个问题上与我们作对。”

而反对可可种植园滥用童工的活动人士说得更加直白。

他们形容价值1,000亿美元的巧克力行业,其高额销售收入与非洲可可种植户的赤贫形成鲜明对比,令人震撼。有人估计,许多可可种植户每天的收入约为1美元,根本买不起一根巧克力棒。伊泰勒?休古奈特研究过新报告后说道:“我认为这种行为极其可耻。”休古奈特是位于华盛顿特区的环保组织“非凡地球”(Mighty Earth)的高级活动主管。非凡地球多年来一直致力于推动改善可可种植业。休古奈特说:“如果这些孩子是白人,我们肯定不会允许这种情况发生。”

不过10月19日的报告中并非全是坏消息,其中也提到了改进的迹象。例如,可可种植园中的156万童工少于五年前的报告中预测的约200万人,但早期的预测目前被认为存在计算错误。

随着消费者对童工问题日益关注,位于明尼苏达州威札塔的嘉吉(Cargill)和瑞士公司雀巢等巧克力巨头都开始大力兴建学校、监控可可种植园,以及提高种植户的意识。位于日内瓦的国际可可行动组织(International Cocoa Initiative)的执行董事尼克?韦瑟里尔说:“过去五年,要求巧克力公司进行尽职调查的呼声越来越高,公司已经开始意识到了相关风险,并采取了相应的措施。现在它们在扩大行动的规模。”国际可可行动组织是由巧克力行业参与创建的一家独立机构。韦瑟里尔形容NORC的报告中“有令人警醒的事实、更低的预估和个别改善的迹象。”

NORC报告的草案早在几周前已经分享给巧克力公司和可可贸易商,在报告中有一个小文本框提到了巧克力行业对报告的回应。文中写到巧克力行业在可可种植区了出资兴建了新学校、收集了童工数据,并扩大了培训项目的范围。

这些巧克力公司的网站上也在大肆宣扬这些项目,因为它们要努力摆脱与可可种植园里的童工有关的糟糕的公众形象。这种形象与公司销售的美味产品完全不符。

例如,嘉吉在其网站上称:“我们有责任保证儿童在上学时间以外在农场里工作,没有受到经济上的剥削,身体不会受到伤害,也不会影响学习或玩耍。”该公司在这份有关童工问题的声明中用了一张孩子们踢足球的插图。在雀巢的网站上,在一张一个非洲孩子在教室写字的照片旁边,公司称“普及优质教育是提升儿童权利和打击童工问题的重要工具”,并表示公司与同行携手,将在2030年之前在可可种植区内投资兴建1万座小学。雀巢和嘉吉都是世界可可基金会的主要成员。

但巧克力行业的批评者指出了一个重要的问题:根据2000年达成的《哈金-恩格尔协议》,巧克力行业同意做到自律。这让巧克力公司避免了任何与童工有关的法律诉讼。

位于华盛顿的国际人权倡议组织(International Rights Advocates)的执行董事特里?科灵斯沃思认为:“没有任何能够让它们承担后果的机制。”该组织代表一群儿童对嘉吉和雀巢提起了诉讼。这些儿童称他们被非法贩卖到可可种植园,并被迫在那里劳动。本案将于12月在美国最高法院开庭审理。科灵斯沃思表示,巧克力公司现在承诺到2025年之前消除童工现象,“它们实际上是在说:‘我们在尝试阻止童工现象的过程中可以使用童工。’真是太讽刺了。”

尽管大型巧克力公司称它们为反童工项目做了大量努力,但在反童工的活动人士在上周接受的多次采访中均表示,他们担心巧克力公司的项目不会有太大影响。

NORC的报告估计,这些项目只能够影响20%的种植户,但非政府组织认为该报告估算的比例有些过高。芝加哥企业问责实验室(Corporate Accountability Lab)的法务总监查瑞迪?赖尔森在去年年末曾经参观过可可种植园。他说:“我们问种植户:‘你们为嘉吉生产可可。他们的项目有什么影响?’他们说:‘我们并不知道在为嘉吉生产可可,而且我们也从来没有见过任何项目。’”

可可种植园的顽疾

事实上,可可种植业的结构碎片化,而且种植户多在偏远、贫困的农村地区,导致童工问题很难解决。与数十年来一直在使用童工的咖啡或钴行业不同,可可种植业中没有成规模的可可生产商。

相反,绝大多数可可种植园都是只有几英亩大小的小家庭作坊。种植户把可可豆卖给当地合作社,或者经常也会卖给骑着摩托车经过的贸易商。贸易商从种植户那里买到可可豆之后,再转售给供应链的上游。要接触到数以万计的种植户并不容易。韦瑟里尔说:“童工问题的根源在于:种植户的贫困和缺乏替代收入来源。有许多公司可以解决这个问题,但它们不愿意承担责任。”

从可可种植业的童工变成全球性问题已经过去了20年,从大型巧克力公司承诺在供应链中消除童工现象也已经过去了20多年,但童工问题的解决似乎依旧遥遥无期。反童工的非政府机构警告,新冠疫情迫使学校停课,使贫困加剧,可能再次导致所有行业的童工大幅增加。

近几年,公平贸易(Fair Trade)的认证泛滥,让一些消费者误以为巧克力公司现在会以道德的方式生产巧克力。事实上,这些机构表示,公平贸易标签是指向种植户或合作社支付溢价,但这对于种植户极端贫困的处境来说只是杯水车薪。赖尔森说道:“消费者以为:‘种植户被赋予了更大的权利。’而这完全与事实不符。”(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

As Americans stock up on chocolates for Halloween this month, they might want to consider this grim statistic: About 1.56 million children—many as young as five—are engaged in the back-breaking work of harvesting cocoa for that chocolate in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Those two West African countries together supply about 70% of the world’s cocoa beans, the raw ingredient for the bars and treats made by the likes of Hershey, Mars, and Nestlé.

That estimate appears in a major report out on October 19, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor and written by the research institute NORC at the University of Chicago, at a cost of nearly $3.5 million. The 300-page document says the proportion of children in Ghana and Ivory Coast between the ages of five and 17 who work on cocoa farms has increased by a staggering 14 percentage points in the past decade, up from 31% to 45% of children living in the two countries.

While the report does not fully explain the increase, it suggests that some of it might be due to the fact that cocoa production has risen about 60% over the past decade, drawing in ever-growing numbers of children as farmers race to harvest their beans.

What's more, about 95% of those kids face one or more significant safety hazards on cocoa farms, including using sharp machetes to hack away at pods the size of footballs, or working on land sprayed with pesticides. The use of pesticides on the farms has surged 20% in five years, according to NORC, which surveyed thousands of cocoa holdings during last year’s harvest season. “A large proportion of children in cocoa agriculture carry heavy loads, undertake land clearing, and are exposed to agrochemical products,” the report says. “The injuries reported by children seem to be reflecting the consequences of these hazards related to cocoa agriculture.”

The report makes for troubling reading. Yet just as worrying—and infuriating to child-labor campaigners—is that companies and cocoa traders have failed to resolve an issue that they committed to tackling nearly 20 years ago. Under a 2001 protocol approved by Congress, eight of the industry’s biggest players agreed to eradicate 70% of the worst forms of child labor by 2020—a deadline it has missed. It also missed interim targets in 2005, 2010 and 2015.

On October 19, the World Cocoa Foundation, whose 100 member companies comprise about 80% of the industry, said it aimed to have its anti-child-labor programs reach all cocoa farmers by 2025, and that it would invest about $1.2 billion in paying farmers above the market rate for their beans. “As this report shows, there are today still too many children in cocoa farming doing work for which they are too young, or work that endangers them,” foundation president Richard Scobey said in a statement as the report was released. “Child labor has no place in the cocoa supply chain,” he said.

Yet in the minds of many, the chocolate companies’ efforts have come very late, and with reluctance.

“The industry and others want to do the minimum amount they can get away with, because it is a pain in the neck to them,” says Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York who cosponsored the 2000 deal, known as the Harkin-Engel Protocol. Now chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he said in a briefing last week with the International Labor Organization, the U.S. Department of Labor, and Unicef, that much more needs to be done. “We need industry to work with us, and not fight us on it,” he said.

Campaigners working on abuses in cocoa farming put it even more bluntly than that.

They describe a $100 billion industry whose lucrative sales are a jarring contrast with the extreme poverty of African cocoa farmers. By some estimates, many farmers earn about $1 a day—not enough to enjoy a bar of chocolate. “It is so scandalous to me,” says Etelle Higonnet, senior campaign director of Mighty Earth, an environmental organization in Washington, D.C., after studying the new report. Mighty Earth has spent years pushing for better cocoa-farming practices. “If these kids were white, you can bet we would not allow this to happen,” Higonnet says.

October 19's report is not entirely bad news, and it includes signs of progress. For example, the estimate of 1.56 million child cocoa workers is lower than the previous figure of about 2 million, the estimate in a report five years ago, which is now thought to have been a miscalculation.

Faced with rising consumer concern over child labor, chocolate giants like Cargill, based in Wayzata, Minn., and the Switzerland-based Nestlé have begun ramping up programs to build schools, monitor cocoa farms, and implement awareness programs among farmers. “Over the past five years there has been an increasing call for due diligence, and companies have begun to identify risks and do something about it,” says Nick Weatherill, executive director of the International Cocoa Initiative in Geneva, an independent organization funded in part by the chocolate industry. “They are starting to scale up now.” He calls the NORC report "a mixed bag of sobering reminders, lower estimates and some signs of progress."

A draft of the NORC report was shared with chocolate companies and cocoa traders several weeks ago, and includes a response from the industry, featured in a small box on the pages of the report, saying that it has financed new schools across the cocoa region, collected data on child labor, and expanded training programs.

Those programs are also splashed across the companies’ websites, as they increasingly work to stave off bad P.R. around child cocoa workers—a disturbing contrast to the feel-good products the companies sell.

Cargill, for example, says on its website that “it is our duty to make sure that children who work on farms outside school hours are not financially exploited, physically endangered or discouraged from studying or playing;” it illustrates its statement about child labor with a photo of kids playing with a soccer ball. On Nestlé’s website, next to a photo of an African child writing in class, the company states that “access to quality education is an essential tool to promote children’s rights and fighting child labor,” and says the company has joined an industry effort to invest in 10,000 primary schools in the cocoa region by 2030. Both Nestlé and Cargill are prominent members of the World Cocoa Foundation.

Yet the industry’s critics point to one major problem: Under the Harkin-Engel Protocol crafted in 2000, it agreed to regulate itself. That has shielded companies from any legal action relating to child labor.

“There is no mechanism that has consequences,” says Terry Collingsworth, executive director of International Rights Advocates in Washington, which has sued Cargill and Nestlé on behalf of a group of children who claim they were trafficked to cocoa farms to work there. That case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court in December. Since chocolate companies have now promised to eradicate child labor by 2025, “what they are saying is, ‘we can use child labor while we are trying to stop it,’” Collingsworth says. “It is so cynical.”

Despite the claims by Big Chocolate that they have invested heavily in child-labor programs, in several interviews over the past week, campaigners say they fear those programs have made little impact.

The NORC report estimates the programs reach only 20% of farmers, but NGOs believe even that estimate is too high. “We say to farmers, ‘You are producing for Cargill, so what is the impact of their program?’” says Charity Ryerson, legal director for the Corporate Accountability Lab in Chicago, who visited cocoa farms late last year. “They say, ‘We do not know we are producing for Cargill, and we have never seen the program.’”

Intractable trouble on cocoa farms

Indeed, the fragmented structure of the cocoa industry, as well as the remote, rural poverty in which the farmers operate, all make tackling child labor intensely difficult. Unlike in coffee or cobalt—two industries that have used children for decades—there are no sizable cocoa producers.

Instead, the vast majority of cocoa farms are tiny family enterprises of just a few acres. The farmers sell their beans to local cooperatives, or often to traders who pass by on motorbikes, buy their product and then resell them up the chain. Reaching tens of thousands of those farmers is not easy. “It goes all the way to the root causes: The poverty of farmers and the lack of alternatives,” Weatherill says. “There is a lot that companies can do to solve this, but they are not solely responsible.”

Still, two decades after the child cocoa workers became a global issue—and more than 20 years after Big Chocolate promised to rid their supply chain of child labor—the issue still seems far from being solved. And child-labor NGOs caution that COVID-19 has likely sent child labor soaring again—in all industries—as schools have closed and poverty has deepened.

Fair Trade certification has proliferated in recent years, giving some consumers the impression that companies are now producing chocolate in an ethical way. In reality, organizations say, the Fair Trade label refers to the premium price paid to farmers or cooperatives—little of which makes a dent in farmers’ dire poverty. “Consumers think, ‘This is an empowered farmer,” Ryerson says. “It is completely off from reality.”

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