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Panorama on Chocolate - the Bitter Truth

A Panorama special on 24 March 2010, Chocolate – the Bitter Truth, went undercover in west Africa.  How much do we know about the people who produce the cocoa that goes into our chocolate?  Some who are working long hours may be children as young as seven.   

After watching the programme there are a couple of parts that stick in my mind.  There were the children taken from Burkina Faso to work in the neighbouring country of Ivory Coast and denied the chance to go to school.  In contrast there was a cocoa trader in the USA who can make big money quickly and who does not have to do dangerous work such as hacking open cocoa pods with a machete.

Ivory Coast and Ghana, both in west Africa, are two of the most important countries for producing cocoa.  Large confectionery companies, household names such as Nestle and Cadbury, have been buying in quantity from these places for decades.  Why after all this time are the people growing the cocoa still living in such poverty?     

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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