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100% sustainably sourced Environment
Friday March 31, 2023

Chocolate companies’ fake sustainability claims won’t fly

“100% sustainably sourced cocoa,” says the sign on the stand promoting Cadbury, a popular chocolate brand of Mondelez International. Many chocolate brands draw on similar language to promote their products— “ethically sourced”, “sustainable cocoa”—but are these claims verified? Chocolate (porky) pie, anyone? Let’s look at the case of Cadbury's parent company, Mondelez. Last year, the company participated in the 2022 Chocolate Scorecard, meaning they filled out a survey with key information about their cocoa sourcing practices which was later graded by experts. Here’s

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Cocoa fruit Child Slavery
Monday March 20, 2023

Why chocolate companies must go beyond certified cocoa

Our community often asks us how to shop ethically. Seeing a recognizable certification logo on a chocolate treat could put your mind at ease when shopping: cocoa certified by the most popular schemes—Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or organic—is usually the preferred option for those of us mindful of the social and environmental impacts of the products we buy. But do we know what these certification labels actually mean? Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different schemes is key to being able to make conscious shopping decisions and to encourage brands to go beyond the

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Close up of women marching with raised fists Activists
Monday March 6, 2023

International Women’s Day: a story of collective power

 Are you planning on marking International Women’s Day? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments!    When 15,000 women, majority immigrant Jewish garment workers, marched through New York City in 1908, they sparked the call for an annual observance of International Women’s Day.   These women in New York were demanding the right to vote, better working conditions, shorter working hours, and better protections from exploitation through the initiation of the first labor unions.  More than 100 years later we remember that International Women’s Day is ultimately a

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Cooked prawn on a fork resting on a white plate next to an open tin of tuna surrounded by barbed wire and drops of blood Slavery-Free Goods
Friday February 10, 2023

Does it do what it says on the tin?

Joanna Ewart-James

This is the republication of the foreword to the report published by Human Rights at Sea entitled "Does it Do what it says on the Tin? Fisheries and Aquaculture Certification, Standards and Ratings Ecosystem: An Independent Review 1.0"  available here. As consumers we are led to believe we hold the power to ensure the goods we buy are not harmful to humans and the planet. In classic economics, companies simply supply what the market demands. We are ‘the market’ and it is the market that sets the price. And we are increasingly aware, in this information age, that price goes far beyond

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Forced Labor
Thursday December 22, 2022

The unusual break the World Cup 2022 brought

Joanna Ewart-James

With Lionel Messi captaining, Argentina’s third win 36 years after their second, may not be considered especially unusual. What about host country Qatar? The first tournament to be held in a Muslim nation is a break from a history of past locations – predominantly Europe and the Americas. The break I am referring to is the unusual focus on the experience of exploited laborers. Major sporting events and trafficking tropes Before Qatar 2022, extreme exploitation in the context of major sporting events that caught public attention was limited to the topic of trafficking for sexual

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