Slavery in Chocolate?

Students gathered in the Sharwan Smith Student Center church auditorium for an annual documentary screening Wednesday, Oct. 17. The event was titled “The Trick in Trick or treating” and focused on slavery in the cocoa industry.

The event was organized by the SUU Human Rights Advocates club. The club showed the documentary to demonstrate that slavery is still prevalent today in the chocolate industry.

The club also wanted to express how human trafficking and forced labor, along with many forms of slavery, still affect us in 2018.

As students waited for the documentary to start they snacked on sample chocolate. The chocolate bars had logos on them that showed fair trade cocoa brands.

73% of chocolate comes out of West Africa, and 95% of most cocoa beans come from illegal production. This means there is unfair labor in some chocolates. Individuals are either being abused and not paid by farmers to collect cocoa beans. Such cocoa beans go into chocolate that is not certified fair trade.

“This Halloween we need to focus on conscious consumerism. There may be forced labor in the chocolate you are giving out this Halloween” the club stated.

The Human Rights Advocates suggest looking for chocolate that has fair trade logos on the wrappers and are fair trade certified. Some of this chocolate is available at the local Smiths.

“We are making a change by making SUU a fair trade school. This means the food on campus is not made with forced labor. Being certified will make SUU look good.”

For more information on how to make a change, go to the Make Chocolate Fair or Fair Trade USA websites. You can also learn more at


Story by: Cassidy Jasperson

Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash