A few weeks back I visited an organic cacao farm and it was a wonderful experience. We trekked through the jungle, surrounded by thousands of cacao trees and shaded by a luscious canopy. The air smelled of earth and rain ☔️ 🌎
This experience was; however, a rather unusual one for cacao is not usually such a friendly industry. 70% of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and farmers frequently use child labor to help with growing, harvesting, and transporting the cocoa beans and an estimated 2 million children were used for hazardous labor throughout Ghana and Ivory Coast in 2014.
In addition, experts have estimated that 70% of the Ivory Coast’s illegal deforestation is related to 🍫 farming as farmers clear new land each time they plant new trees instead of reusing the same soils twice.
Yet, like most of the issues surrounding agriculture in this world, this is a two sided coin because progress is underway. In November 2016, Barry Callebaut, a company that processes 22% of the world’s chocolate, unveiled a new project: Forever Chocolate, which encompasses a suite of sustainability goals for 2025. The goals include achieving zero child labor and deforestation in its supply chains 🙌🏼🌳👧🏾