Hershey's Heresy

Hershey’s National S’Mores Day Facebook Contest page was overtaken yesterday by Fair trade chocolate activists who uploaded images of themselves asking Hershey’s to buy chocolate that does not support slave and child labor.

The actions were organized through Change.org as part of the Raise the Bar campaign, which is a coalition formed by Global Exchange, Green America, the International Labor Rights Forum and Oasis designed to bring awareness to consumers in order to improve conditions for workers and to eliminate child labor in the cocoa industry. “Consumers across the country are taking photos of themselves asking Hershey for child labor-free s’mores in celebration of National S’Mores Day,” said Tim Newman, Campaign Director for the International Labor Rights Forum.

Raise the Bar appealed to concerned chocolate-eating consumers across the country to record videos of themselves placing ‘consumer alerts’ about the common child labor practices in the chocolate industry on Hershey’s products in their local supermarkets by using smartphone-enabled QR codes which read: “Hershey’s chocolate is tainted with child labor.”

According to the website of Fair Trade certifying agent, transfairusa.org, “Cocoa farmers are often forced to sell their harvest to middlemen who rig scales or misrepresent prices, and media reports of child slavery show the stark contrast between the delicious treat and the difficult conditions of the people who produce it. Fair Trade certification ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in techniques that bring out the flavors of the region and strictly prohibits slave and child labor.”

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Photo: Maria DeMerdeiros