Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tell Whole Foods to quit supporting child slavery

Cocoa slave.
Whole Foods' practices are a whole lot different than what it preaches.

The company makes this high-minded statement on its website:
Whole Foods Market's vision of a sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that values human creativity, diversity, and individual choice. Businesses will harness human and material resources without devaluing the integrity of the individual or the planet's ecosystems. 
Whole Foods' supplier -- Hershey -- sure doesn't value human creativity, diversity and individual choice. It exploits children.

More than 1.8 million children work in West Africa's cocoa industry, according to a U.S. government-funded study. Many work in dangerous conditions. Some are even trafficked and sold to perform grueling labor.

Every other big chocolate maker has made a major commitment to sourcing ethical chocolate. Hershey's, which makes Dagoba and Scharffenberger, refuses.

In August, a coalition of grocery stores called on Hershey to commit to using ethically sourced cocoa.

Whole Foods refused to sign the coalition’s appeal. No shock there. After all, UNFI, Whole Foods' primary supplier, wants to force employees who work in dangerous warehouses to accept unfair compensation in spite of posting record profits. So much for valuing the integrity of the individual.

Whole Foods and UNFI should respect workers’ rights. They should join other natural food stores and tell Hershey that ethically sourcing a small amount of chocolate doesn't  excuse it from profiteering off of children.

Send a message to Whole Foods and UNFI here.