Bitter chocolate | DW Documentary


DW Documentary

Published on Sep 28, 2020

Chocolate may be a sweet treat, but its production leaves a bitter taste. Rainforests are cleared so slaves and children laborers can harvest cocoa beans on illegal plantations. Cocoa is produced under the most dubious conditions.

In Ivory Coast, the dark side of cocoa and chocolate production is hard to miss. Many people – including children – are driven here from neighboring Burkina Faso by drought and famine to find work. They often come alone, without their families, to find jobs on one of the many cocoa plantations. The conditions are spartan. They work with sharp machetes, carry heavy loads, are exposed to toxic herbicides, and lack protective clothing.

Major international cocoa companies and giants of the chocolate industry such as Nestlé, Cargill and Ferrero looked on as 90 percent of the Ivory Coast’s primeval forests were destroyed. In 2001, the companies agreed to stop child labor, wage dumping and the further clearance of rainforests for five years. But 20 years later, the commitment has yet to be implemented. This moving documentary shows the dark side of the chocolate industry and its sweet, luxury product.

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