Film Screening: The Dark Side of Chocolate

The Not For Sale Club (NFS) and the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking hosted a bittersweet evening on Feb.11., during a screening of the documentary film “The Dark Side of Chocolate.”

According to NFS, an organization that brings awareness to human trafficking, chocolate companies like Nestle and Hershey’s are not considered fair trade. Fair trade means free of child labor and trafficking.

The documentary, filmed by journalist Miki Mistrati, revealed the truth about the origins of chocolate, from the cocoa growers to the export to big companies such as Nestle.The film covered other issues such as human trafficking, child labor, and slavery from the Ivory Coast.

A panel discussion followed the screening, featuring Killian Moote (NFS Director of Advocacy), Trina Tocco (Deputy Director of International Labor Rights Forum), and Adrienne Fitch-Frankel (Fair Trade Campaign Director of Global Exchange).

The panel discussed the free to work website (www.free2work.org), which determines the level of fair trade a consumer product is.
The panel also explained ways the audience can help with the cause, including buying fair trade products, educating others, collecting signatures to petition, and contributing to the campaign.

An audience member asked if the chocolate ever goes back to the cocoa growers. The panel said it doesn’t because chocolate is a luxury good and consumed in the Western world. Most cocoa growers don’t even get to taste it.

Freshman Cora Sivak said, “[The event] was shocking and I learned a lot.” In relevance to the child labor, she said, “When you see it, it’s real.”

Here at USF, there are chocolate candies and coffee sold as fair trade, but not all.

Lauren Hill, the president of Not For Sale, announced that the Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator of NFS, Theresa Carino, has a long-term goal of starting a fair trade committee on campus to make USF part of a fair trade community. Carino’s goal is to have Bon Appétit sell only fair trade products on Fridays, making it “fair trade Fridays.”

In March, NFS will host a photo campaign where students can take pictures in a booth to display themselves as modern day abolitionists. NFS week will be held in April where there will be an Easter egg hunt with fair trade chocolate, a Free to Walk, and another film screening on campus.

To get more info: check out www.notforsalecampaign.org   www.free2work.org

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