Godiva’s golden boxes of chocolates and decadent chocolate-covered strawberries contain some unsavory ingredients: poverty and child labor.
Nearly 70% of the world’s cocoa, including Godiva’s, is sourced from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, where cocoa farmers and their families live on less than $1 per day—well below the global poverty line of $1.25/day.
Child labor, a symptom of extreme poverty, has been a known problem in West African cocoa fields for more than a decade. The US Department of Labor found more than 2 million children work in hazardous conditions growing cocoa—such as burning fields, applying agrochemicals, carrying heavy loads—and many do not attend school.
Thanks to pressure from Green America members, Godiva has been exploring what sustainability means to the company and what a policy might look like. While we applaud Godiva for taking an interest in sustainability, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Many fair trade chocolate companies have sourced directly from cocoa farmers for years, ensuring fair payments, safe working conditions, and no child labor.
That's why Green America and its members are continuing to put pressure on Godiva to take action on child labor now.