channel 4 film
"Slavery" a Channel 4 film web site of
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
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
Once again thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us.
Charlie Consumer Relations