Last chance! Enter the fair trade chocolate challenge
February 27th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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Tens of thousands of children toil in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast, some against their will, to create the chocolate bars that many of us enjoy.

In a CNN Freedom Project investigation, David McKenzie traveled to the West African country and discovered that despite promises the global chocolate industry made a decade ago to end forced labor, there are still child slaves harvesting cocoa, even though some have never tasted chocolate and some don't even know what the word "chocolate" means.

It can be hard to find ethically produced cocoa, but the "fair trade" designation helps ensures that farmers receive a fair price and prohibits the use of slave and child labor.

We invite you to create a dish using fair trade chocolate, with bonus points to those who make a delicacy that’s special to their country or region.

You've got just two more days to submit a photo or video showing off your creation, and tell us about the experience, including any obstacles you faced in finding or using fair trade chocolate. Please include the recipe you used.

The best submissions will be shown on CNN International, Eatocracy and the CNN Freedom Project blog.

Get started with the iReport assignment. The deadline is February 29.

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Filed under: Bite • Buzz • Chocolate • Dishes • Food Politics • iReport • News • Slavery

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. atypical

    humanity, it was once written, "is divided by those who have it all and those who have nothing, those who toil in the fields with no access to the products they produce and the CEOs who make 16k an hour." you get the gist.

    to equality and oneness.
    we have entered the era of the nunti sunya

    February 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  2. Joe Bitin'

    But if the kids don't have hands they can't steal the chocolate bars, right?

    February 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  3. Drowlord

    Don't Buy This. In the few studies of "Fair Trade" ever done, it was found that as little as 1% of the increased fair trade price actually made it back to the exporters. It's a noble idea, and "Fair Trade" consumers are trying to do the right thing, but in the end it's a scam because the ideologues behind Fair Trade just aren't effective enough people to make their vision work right. (Assuming they want impoverished farmers to earn more... A cynical person might suggest that it works exactly as intended.)

    February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      exaclty. Not only that, but the average American these days can hardly afford to keep up with the inflation on regular mass produced food prices, let alone afford to buy high cost items like these. I used to buy as much organic food as I could, not anymore. I certainly have never been able to feed my family on fair-trade prices.

      February 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  4. bob

    Easy – buy Hawaiian grown chocolate. No slave labor, grown in the USA!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Drowlord

      Looks good, but *ouch*. A 3 oz Ghirardelli chocolate bar costs like $2. A 3 oz Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory bar costs $10 (plus shipping from Hawaii) directly from the manufacturer, and I can't find a local source. That's a pretty hefty premium.

      February 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  5. Don

    Now I'm feeling guilty. I just finished a piece of white and dark choclate with cracked pepper and sea salt that I'm totally addicted too. I buy this occasionally at my local chocolate shop and never gave fair trade a thought. Now I have to ask the owner if she uses fair trade cocoa. That's going to make me uncomfortable because if she says no, do I trun around and walk out the door? Who else makes a layered white and dark chocolate with salt and pepper, or a dark with pistacchio's, hot pepper and candied ginger? Help me ! ! ! ! I'm scared.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      You should feel totally free to ask at the shop so they know that their customer base is interested in such a thing. They may actually be doing it, but they just don't happen to emphasize it.

      February 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      if you are really going to stop buying anything that isn't produced ethically, you are going to have to grow your own food and live an entirely self-sustainable lifestyle. You do understand that your home is FILLED with food and products that were produced using harmful pesticides, slave labor, toxic byproducts, etc ,etc Just do the best you can and adjust to the idea that the US has created this way of living for us by producing most of our consumables outside of the country

      February 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  6. Zazu

    I'm so glad CNN is paying attention to this. So much of our affluent life-style is built on the misery of people invisible to us, it's bad karma.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  7. Mitzi

    I really love all the fair-trade chocolate out there and appreciate this article. Especially the Spreads from an online shop called Love Street.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  8. Eileen Lowden

    Fair trade does not necessarily mean slavery-free. You can get more info on what chocolate products are recommended to be slavery free here:

    February 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  9. meh

    meh, no.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  10. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    The rabbit that lives under the deck at our house leaves me organic chocolate nuggets in the yard all the time. Delicious!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  11. Colleen

    Theo's Chocolate. In the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington has the best fair trade, organic chocolates ever.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  12. ouch

    is it as hard to find fair trade chocolate as it is to find out what fair trade even is because the news is too scared to list brands?

    February 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Scared? Not at all. We have a buying guide coming up soon.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
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