Easter bunnies in Berlin demand: No more unfair chocolate eggs!05/16/2014 - 19:38
On April 15 2014 Easter bunnies have demonstrated jointly with activists of the INKOTA-network against the inhuman labour conditions in the cocoa sector. In front of the "Kaufhaus des Westens", a legendary temple of consumerism in Berlin, they unveiled a huge Easter egg. But instead of being a sweet dream made of chocolate, it turned out to have a bitter aftertaste: poverty, hunger and child labour are among the ingredients of the chocolate eggs sold on a mass scale during Easter. The action was performed in the course of the Make Chocolate Fair! campaign of INKOTA, which aims to raise awareness for the fact that the majority of the 5.5 million cocoa farmers are still living below the poverty line.
"Unfortunately, the Easter baskets of German children contain a bitter truth: For the production of chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs, half a million children have to work under exploitative labour conditions in cocoa plantations in West Africa", said a spokesperson of the Easter bunnies. "Exploitative child labour is a symptom of the low income of cocoa farmers. We, the Easter bunnies, will not accept this injustice anymore. Therefore, we have decided to join the Make Chocolate Fair! campaign." They support the campaign´s demands for better working and living conditions for cocoa farmers and for an end to exploitative child labour.
"Currently, many companies are promising to raise the amount of sustainable certified cocoa up to 100 percent until 2020. This is a first step in the right direction. However, if they really take sustainability seriously, they must also be ready to pay a higher price for the most important ingredient in their chocolate. Only then can a life in dignity for the cocoa farmers and their families be achieved", said Evelyn Bahn, coordinator of the European campaign Make Chocolate Fair. "The promises of the chocolate industry need to be followed up by concrete action. Unfortunately, many chocolate manufacturers avoid the discussion on the questions of fair price for cooca beans", explained Bahn. "Together with our campaign partners in the cocoa growing countries we will keep observing closely whether the living conditions of people in the cultivation areas really change."
Certainly, during Easter the consumers are also called for action: Bahn recommends that they fill their Easter nests with chocolate certified as fair and sustainable. On average, every German consumer eats a hundred bars of chocolate per year, making Germans the third biggest chocolate lovers in Europe right after the Belgians and the Swiss. "Those who love chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs can increase the pressure on the chocolate companies with us and sign the petition of the Make Chocolate Fair! Campaign", Bahn calls upon the consumers. “The Easter bunny already signed the petition!”