Tracking a Chocolate Bar
The making of chocolates is a tedious process that involves several processes. Ripe pods of cocoa beans are cut from the cocoa tree and split open to allow scrape off the pulp that is usually inside. Once all the content is removed, it is allowed to ferment and dry for a few days to separate the pulp that is left from the seeds (Lass and Wood 6). Once they arrive at the processing factory, they are washed to remove foreign particles and roasting is done to ease the removal of the husks. The process that follows is where the seeds inner kernel is broken into "nibs. The nibs are then ground to expel an oily substance and into a semi-solid substance which in the end forms the chocolate. Sweet chocolate is made by addition of other substances, like cocoa butter, fats, milk powder and sugar until it is a thick 'poop' looking material. Then the chocolate is molded into the desired shape (Lass and Wood 445).
Poor Working Conditions for cocoa Farm Employees
Trafficking of people to work in the cocoa plantations is very rampant in countries like the Ivory Coast and Ghana in West Africa, which are the largest cocoa producers. The people come mainly from the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso and Mali. Children and adults look for work in the cocoa farms due to their low standard of living. These trafficked employees are vulnerable to sexual abuse, diseases from pests and harsh weather conditions. Workers have reported cases of punishments from farm owners. Employers have in several cases refused to offer food to people who fall sick because they are not working. Despite the challenges, any work done past the agreed time as well as the agreed time is not paid for. Due to lack of legal documents, the immigrants have no governing regulations concerning the working conditions as well as social protection (Lass and Wood 445).
The Trading Structure
The Cocoa Regulatory Authority controls the trade of cocoa in Ivory Coast. The board members consist of cocoa farm owners, representatives, and exporters. The board helps decide a minimum price that is paid to the farmers for their produce. Exporters from all the western countries have control on the cocoa exports, while domestic trading companies have lost influence affecting the revenue of cocoa producing countries. When the income from the cocoa trade is increased, the large exporters stops exporting the commodity until the new customs duties are reduced. The agents work directly for the major trading companies, or on a contract basis. They later transported it to purchasing centers or in the major cities.
Consumers and Marketing
Women and children consume more chocolate than men. This is the reason they are parked in beautiful wrappings to attract them. Those directly targeting children have slogans that attract them more and are also molded in appealing shapes. Marketing is done on televisions, in events, and on billboards to mention a few (Lass and Wood 529). Advertisements are lucky since the sales from the confection increase. Chocolates can be purchased from supermarkets, online platforms, candy shops and from the manufacturing companies. Candy stores and other places selling the cocoa product get a fifty or less profit margin (Lass and Wood 590)
As explained above, the laborers in the cocoa farms are underpaid, mainly because some of them are in the countries illegally. The chocolate industry also has negative impacts on the environment, for example, an acre of rainforest was destroyed when due to energy when trying to save the Endangered Species Chocolate bar. Consumption of sweet chocolate can also lead to health issues if over indulged. The transportation of cocoa accounts for 3% within Ivory Coast and to Europe (Fobelets and Ruiz 23).
"Facts about Chocolate - Chocolate Statistics." Delish, www.delish.com/food/news/a39015/facts-about-chocolate/.
Fobelets, Vincent and Adrian de Groot Ruiz. The True Price of Cocoa from Ivory Coast. Berlin: ONIC Design, 2016.
Lass, R A, and G A. R. Wood. Cocoa. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2001.
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