The candy industry consistently rakes in a whopping two billion dollars in Halloween candy sales each Halloween, and not surprisingly, over a billion of those dollars are spent on chocolate alone. For most chocolate companies, sales made over America’s favorite spooky holiday account for approximately 10 percent of their yearly revenue.
According to the TheChocolateStore.com, “Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or over 11 pounds per person.”
That’s right. From Reese’s and Snickers to chocolate bunnies and fondue, we eat the weight of a hefty bowling ball in chocolate every single year. It’s no secret, Americans are cuckoo for all things cocoa.
But have you ever wondered where most of your favorite Halloween candy treats are coming from?
Though the chocolate company controversy has been widely circulated over the years, many people are still unaware that they are funding child slaves in West Africa by buying from most of the major brands. The region that houses nearly two-thirds of all cacao beans on the planet exploits young children to work 80 to 100 hour weeks with no pay.
Huffington Post reported the following staggering statistics regarding the slave trade:
“According to an investigative report by the BBC, hundreds of thousands of children are being purchased from their parents or outright stolen and then shipped to Ivory Coast, where they are enslaved on cocoa farms. Destitute parents in these poverty-stricken lands sell their children to traffickers believing that they will find honest work in Ivory Coast and send some of their earnings home. The terrible reality is that these children, 11 to 16 years old but sometimes younger, are forced to do hard manual labor 80 to 100 hours a week. They are paid nothing, receive no education, are under fed, and are often viciously beaten if they try to escape. Most will never see their families again.”
So which chocolate bigwigs are the culprits? The following are the companies well-known for using this brutal child slave labor according to an article posted by U.S. Uncut that has now been shared over 1 million times:
6. ADM Cocoa
7. Fowler’s Chocolate
While the list of these popular Halloween candy brands may be shocking and disappointing, this statement from one of the freed child slaves may be just enough to cramp your taste buds the next time you go to bite into that Milky Way or savor the flavor of your Almond Joy:
“They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”
Similar comments were recorded in the film Slavery: A Global Investigation which interviewed children who had broken free from the slave trade.