Bean of Affliction: Chocolate, Child Labor & Choosing Fair Trade
“We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. And God took us out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. And if the Blessed Holy one had not taken out our ancestors from Egypt, we and our children and our children’s children would still be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.” (Passover Haggadah)
The gift of freedom our people received generations ago bestows upon us the obligation and responsibility to work for the liberation of all people. How can we fully celebrate our freedom without acknowledging millions of people today who are still forced to work, thousands of them young children who work in cocoa fields to bring us our delicious chocolate?
It is often easy to overlook the role we may have on other’s lives. It requires us to look hard at the individual choices we make on a day to day basis, like the food we eat and the ritual products we use to celebrate our Jewish identity.
One powerful way is to choose Fair Trade chocolate, grown with standards prohibiting child labor.
We are each endowed with “a strong hand and outstretched arms.” Let us use them to extend freedom to others. We can:
- Advocate – Encourage Hershey Chocolate Co. to begin sourcing Fair Trade cocoa beans
- Learn More with this resource list
- Educate others – Host a Screening of “The Dark Side of Chocolate” DVD with our new comprehensive Screening Kit
- Share their story at your Passover Seder
Thanks to Equal Exchange for their Fair Trade Promotion Grant
supporting our “Bean of Afflication Campaign”.