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Slavery a channel 4 film

"Slavery" a Channel 4 film    web site of film

An insightful documentary about the confirmed existence of modern slavery in the 21st Century. The documentary follows loom slavery in India and coca bean slavery in the Ivory Coast. Also domestic slavery in the United States following the demand for domestic workers for the employees of the World Bank in Washington. Definitely a thought-provoking piece of television but is it action provoking? After statistics like "80% of all Ivory Coast cocoa beans are produced by slaves" is there much that we can do as consumers in the year 2000? A slave recently liberated from a farm in the Ivory Coast discerned that he had never tasted the chocolate that he had worked without pay to produce. When asked what he would like to tell the people who do eat chocolate he replied, "you are eating my flesh"

A poignant piece of film, showing the images of the scars of the Ivory coast, the stories of three domestic workers from the USA held prisoner and the tearful reunion of Chi Cha and his son in a loom sweat shop.

Lily Johnson Year 10

Bethan Lines wrote to Cadburys after watching the film. This is their response.

Thank you for contacting us concerning the use of slavery on cocoa farms in Cote d'lvoire.
Until the Channel 4 programme we were completely unaware of the allegations concerning cocoa growing in the Cote d'lvoire, indeed the programme makers said that 'the problem had never been documented before'.
Of course we share your concern and are deeply shocked and horrified at the scenes we witnessed. Here at Cadbury in the UK we purchase the vast majority of our cocoa beans from Ghana and have worked with the Government and farmers for nearly 100 years. Ghanaian cocoa is produced predominantly by small farmers and we have absolutely no evidence to suggest that slavery is a feature of cocoa cultivation in Ghana.
Having said this we are part of the international chocolate industry and this is clearly an international issue because Cote d'Ivoire produces nearly half the world's cocoa. Based on information from industry sources we seriously question the programme's claim that 90% of farms in Cote d'Ivoire use slave labour but clearly if only one farm is guilty then it is one too many.
We intend to work with the international confectionery industry and relevant international bodies to ensure that such practices do not occur. We have already met with the Government of the Cote d'Ivoire through their embassy in London and UK government representatives have also been contacted.
Our business is firmly based on the principles of honesty and integrity in all our dealings and we will do everything in our power to ensure that these principles are not compromised.
I hope this e-mail has answered some of your questions and I would like to assure you that the chocolate products we make are in every sense 'fair and ethical'.
Once again thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us.

Charlie Consumer Relations


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