By Canada News Wire
MISSISSAUGA — Today World Vision launched its Good Chocolate Guide to help Canadians shop for Valentine's treats they can trust not to contain any dark secrets. Whether they're on-line or in line, shoppers can use the mobile-friendly guide to find chocolate products that are ethically certified to be child-labour free.
"Tackling child labour is not only up to companies who earn profits from chocolate, but also consumers who get pleasure from it. World Vision's Good Chocolate Guide will help Canadians indulge in their favourite treats while still being ethical and protecting children," said Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision's No Child for Sale awareness campaign.
According to the aid agency, child slavery and trafficking is an ongoing problem in the cocoa industry, particularly in West Africa, where an estimated 1.8 million children work in cocoa farming in West Africa. They are just a small segment of the estimated 85 million children the International Labour Organization says are doing dirty, dangerous and degrading work all around the world.
The risks for children who work on cacao plantations include:
• Injuries from machetes used to clear land and cut down cacao pods;
• Exposure to chemicals, including pesticides;
• Exhaustion from working long hours in intense heat;
• Abuse from employers;
• Poor nutrition and limited access to health care;
• Jeopardized education
"Camino's product portfolio includes over 75 products, primarily chocolate based, all of which are Fair Trade and Organic," said Jeff Mains, chief executive officer of Camino, a Canadian company featured in the Good Chocolate Guide.
"Our direct relationships with our producer partners, along with the Fairtrade certification and logo, is the consumer's assurance that every ingredient from Bean to Camino Bar has been ethically sourced."