Ethical cocoa schemes no panacea for struggling farmers

The VOICE consortium (of which STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia is a part) has released the biennial Cocoa Barometre outlining the state of the Cocoa industry and steps that have been and need to be taken to address child labour, human trafficking and slavery like conditions.

Under scrutiny is the program of certification bodies Fairtrade and UTZ/Rainforest Alliance (who have now merged). These bodies give a stamp of approval to farmers whose cocoa is produced under practices judged fair. In return, companies can brand their chocolate bars to assure consumers they were produced ethically. They also provide on production communication to consumers about the chocolate they can purchase knowing steps have been taken to address these issues.