Many of the familiar candy bars we’ve grown up with, passed out for Halloween, and chocolate we’ve baked into holiday treats, contain ingredients created by enslaved child labor. This candy is available now at a store near you, but the low, low prices are only possible because of business practices that would turn your stomach.
Lawyers representing Nestle and Cargill were in the Supreme Court yesterday because the companies for decades chose ingredients that they knew were grown and processed with enslaved child labor.
The largest, most profitable multinational chocolate corporations confirm they were aware the children were working without pay or liberty, and that the children were not working on their own family farms. These corporations have publicly confirmed that they are buying ingredients that they know use internationally trafficked children.
The case before the Supreme Court is not about whether these practices exist today, or who knew about them. The question is why these large, profitable US corporations have been able to get away with this for so long without accountability or consequences.
They have long acknowledged the problem but have made no meaningful progress in solving it, despite having the resources to do so.
Let’s be honest. Choosing to not take action will continue the problem It doesn’t resolve it.
Choosing profits over ethics prolongs unacceptable colonial traditions.
Can we, as Americans, finally acknowledge that these corporations are not going to change unless there are consequences? At what point is the cost of not actually doing what is ethical, decent and right become too much, unacceptable and intolerable? These corporations are making conscious choices to see how long they can get away with it.
At what point do the corporation’s continued broken promises and lack of meaningful action have consequences? How long are we going to allow them to get away with this?
These are important questions the Supreme Court and US citizens need to address right now.
This case before the Supreme Court is about making these corporations accountable and having consequences for not really doing anything about it. Shouldn’t there be consequences if that is the only thing that will finally make these corporations do what they promised and could have changed long ago?
These US corporations shouldn’t be exempt from laws and accountability because they pretend that they are going to resolve this issue at some date pushed further and further into the future when all they have proven to us so far is they have made a choice to try to get away with it for as long as they can.
Shouldn’t the US judicial system hold these US corporations legally accountable for their actions (and knowingly choosing to not take meaningful action) even when they occur out of sight in a far away country?
When is the US Justice System, and laws of our nation that make the US such an economic powerhouse, going to give these corporations meaningful consequences so they will finally make the change?
When US corporations enjoy the many benefits like freedom of speech, laws and judicial process that are fundamental to doing business (such as enforceable contracts and reliable, dependable financial institutions), as well as use of our public assets (from our taxpayer investment in roads, bridges, and airwaves to defense spending investment that created GPS and the Internet they use), shouldn’t these corporations also be held responsible too?
Here is our opportunity to do what is right. Our US corporations should reflect American leadership and values.
America has a choice to make. This is our time to lead and not follow.
Please let our US Supreme Court justices know how important our integrity and values are as a nation, a people and a US corporation. Let us be leaders of doing what is right so we can hold our heads high.
If you would like to support more ethical chocolate companies, put your money where your mouth is and vote with your dollars, we would really appreciate your business, support and encouragement.
Making small batch sustainably sourced chocolate as a small business in Seattle is not easy. It can sometimes be difficult and frustrating (especially during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic!) but we passionate about making the world a better place with our products, hard work, and actions.
indi chocolate is honored to be included in the Amicus Brief for this case before the Supreme Court of the United State and help the wonderful organizations we work with to also be included.
Thank you to the organizations that care about sustainailty in chocolate including www.slavefreechocolate.org
We are inspired by the other small businesses we collaborate with.
We are honored to with organizations that care and take meaningful positive change like The Intentionalist and Community Carrot.
These issues in the chocolte industry are one of the many reasons why we care so much about how we source our beans and how our concious comitment and actions help improve the farmers, workers, small businesses, economies, communities, and environment in which we work and live.
Sustainability is not a goal to achieve or a destination. Sustainability is continually working to make what we do and how we do it better in ways that respect our farmers, enviorment, people, customers, small business colaborators, economies, ethics, values, resources, planet and places we work and live better all the time.
Wishing you all the very best,
Founder and CEO of indi chocolate
Before I started indi chocolate, I co-founded Cotton Tree Chocolate (a Belize company). That's where I fell in love with working with farmers and first began to appreciate how important they are in making delicious chocolate with the fewest and best ingredients.