Moral Low Ground


Super Bowl Ad Targets Hershey’s Over African Child Slave Labor

An ad targeting U.S. chocolate-maker Hershey’s over child slave labor in Africa will appear on a big-screen TV outside the Super Bowl in Indianapolis this Sunday.

The Raw Story reports that the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) will air the ad, titled “Hershey’s Chocolate: Kissed by Child Labor,” on a jumbotron screen outside Lucas Oil Stadium, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The ad is meant to pressure Hershey’s into taking action against slave labor exploited in West African cocoa harvests.

“In West Africa, where The Hershey Company sources much of its cocoa, over 200,000 children are forced to harvest cocoa beans every year,” ILRF executive director Judy Gearhart told The Raw Story. “Hershey prides itself on its commitment to supporting underserved children in the United States, yet it lags behind when it comes to putting policies in place to end the exploitation of children in the cocoa industry.”

Competitors Mars and Nestlé have committed to start sourcing cocoa that has been independently certified to be free of forced labor, but Hershey’s hasn’t.

“Hershey has no policies in place to purchase cocoa that has been produced without the use of child labor, and the company has consistently refused to provide public information about its cocoa sources,” Gearhart told The Raw Story.

The company is a signatory to the Harkin-Engel Protocol, an international agreement aimed at ending child labour in the production of cocoa.But according to ILRF, Hershey’s has failed to stem the tide of hundreds of thousands of children laboring in hazardous conditions on cocoa farms throughout West Africa.

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