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The following is being released by Green America, Washington, D.C.:
The “Raise the Bar, Hershey!” Coalition which has called on The Hershey Company to remove forced child labor from its products has an additional target this Easter: Cadbury/Kraft.
While Cadbury has demonstrated its commitment to ending forced child labor in the West African cocoa industry by selling Fair Trade certified chocolates in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand—the same cannot be said of Cadbury products sold in the United States.
In 1988, Hershey purchased Cadbury’s U.S. chocolate business, including the exclusive rights to make and sell well-known brands like Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Bunnies.
The petition, launched last week, has already generated more than 5,000 signatures to the CEO’s of Hershey and Kraft/Cadbury.
Steven Waters, a supporter of the campaign in North Carolina, stated: ”I was shocked to learn that Cadbury’s products in the U.S. are made by Hershey. Learning that forced child labor was an ingredient in their seemingly innocent Easter chocolates made it easy to persuade my girlfriend’s family to discontinue their large quantity purchases of Chocolate Creme Eggs this year.”
“Unfortunately, Hershey refuses to meet the standard set by Cadbury overseas of offering at least one major fair trade product, despite almost two years of mounting consumer pressure,” said Green America Fair Trade Campaigns Director Elizabeth O’Connell. ”With Easter around the corner, the third most popular chocolate-consuming holiday in the U.S., consumers want to be able to buy Easter treats for their families that align with their values.”
The petition is coordinated by Raise the Bar, Hershey!, a coalition of organizations fighting ongoing labor abuses such as child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking in the West African cocoa industry.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/owlpacino/