When you’re unwrapping a chocolate bar, you probably don’t want to stop and think about how that bar was made, where the chocolate comes from, and whether the process involved child labor. The unfortunate truth, however, is that much of the chocolate you consumed this holiday season was likely produced with child labor. Child labor is widespread across West Africa’s cocoa industry, and each year Green America creates a Chocolate Scorecard that rates major US chocolate companies on their efforts to distance themselves from child labor. This year, Green America is also highlighting the role of grocery stores and pharmacies in the same endeavor.
Retailers make billions of dollars from chocolate sales, so they also bear responsibility for promoting and selling these chocolate bars.
The scorecard rates retailers on how effectively they address child labor and environmental issues linked to the production of cacao, and involvement in fair trade. The chart takes into account some of the largest retailers in the US, and the results are quite surprising.
CVS, one of the nation’s most popular pharmacies, scored lowest, faring poorly across all categories. Trader Joe’s and Walgreens didn’t fare much better. Aldi and Food Lion topped the list, scoring well across all categories.
You probably won’t be keeping this scorecard in your wallet and referencing it every time you make a chocolate purchase, but it’s useful to remember the next time you make a chocolate run.