You may think that when it comes to chocolate, there’s no such thing as a bad decision. But the chocolate brand you choose to patronize matters a lot. According to the US Department of Labor, over two million children in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire work in hazardous conditions growing cocoa and make less than $1 per day. Responsibly consuming chocolate doesn’t just mean stopping when you’re full — it means being aware of which chocolate companies are adhering to ethical standards and which aren’t.
Green America has created a scorecard to help you determine which chocolate companies value good working conditions. The card evaluates companies based on their environmental, social justice, and human rights practices, as well as their attention to child labor issues and organic certifications.
As you can see from the card, companies like Alter Eco, Divine, and Theo Chocolate rank highly for their labor certifications, charitable donations, reforestation investments, and worker wages. Companies like Mondelez and Nestle, however, earned far lower scores.
In Ghana and the Ivory Coast, 90 percent of forests have been lost, and this is largely thanks to the cocoa industry. This is why companies’ efforts to reduce deforestation is a major factor in boosting their score.
So next time you’re trying to decide between Godiva and Nestle, remember this scorecard and take ethics into account.