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Wedding chocolates 'made with child labour'

AFP/The Local · 18 Jun 2010, 16:35

Published: 18 Jun 2010 16:35 GMT+02:00

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The criticism came a day before Sweden's future queen, Crown Princess Victoria, 32, is set to marry her former personal trainer, 36-year-old Daniel Westling, in one of the largest public celebrations ever organised in Sweden.

The radio report said Swedish chocolate maker Cloetta used cocoa collected

"in a large part by West African children under harsh working conditions" in its products.

Cloetta spokesperson Christina Bjoerck told AFP the company bought cocoa from producers in Germany and the Netherlands, who in turn purchased cocoa from cooperatives or middle-men in West Africa, mostly in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

"The whole cocoa industry is fully aware of the problem" related to child labour, she said, adding that part of the problem was that many producers were small family operations.

Cloetta launched a line of fair-trade certified products in February, but they do not include the wedding chocolate, which is "unfortunate," Ola Höiden of Fairtrade Sweden said.

"We would have gladly seen a fair trade mention (on the wedding chocolate) to make clear child labour had been avoided," he told AFP.

Story continues below…

Cloetta is one of the many brands behind the "official wedding series" products approved by the palace, ranging from sweets to glassware and porcelain.

Part of the revenue from the official wedding series product sales will go to the couple's wedding charity, to "support children and young people in Sweden, with the purpose of combatting exclusion and promoting good health," the Royal court said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:15 June 18, 2010 by NickM
I'll never watch a Ferrero Roche advert in quite the same light again after this.
18:24 June 18, 2010 by reader in USA
In the third world child labor is common. Perhaps these children would starve without this employment. We are not talking about affluent countriess where child labor is used.
18:37 June 18, 2010 by B.I.L.L
I agree with you totally 'reader in USA'

I'm from Africa so I know...Some of those children wont have money for food or school because their parents salaries are not sufficient for the whole family.

Of course I appreciate the fact that some people care enough to bring this up, and I really wish those kids didn't HAVE to work...

21:04 June 18, 2010 by izbz
Not really for child labours but..........for these people work means food.....not enough education and such....what do you expect? Or do you people want them to carry guns instead.....Easy for alot of people from richer countries to fuss about that. How many in these so call fortunate countries have even spend a kronor to help these kids.

Really want to abolish child labour? Each one give 5 US to help then that will help alot. But I think many people don't mind spending 5 US in systembolaget. Like B.I.L.L. I too wish these kids from any third world countries doIn't have to work. I dare to say these because I have done my part even it is not much.....At least I am helping to support 2 kids in Nepal.

So help to save the world by saving the children PLEASE REACH OUT
23:12 June 18, 2010 by glamelixir
@ reader in USA

Ok, tell me that you are american... I mean YOU MUST BE AMERICAN (with all the prejudice this comment holds) That is the only way I could forgive the totally ridiculous comment you have made... IN EVERY WAY.

I grew up in Southamerica, not only your statement is not entirely true, but if children are working is because their parents are underpayed or unemployed because of the presure of huge corporation (mostly american) who rule global economies... I mean... I can't even start explaining this to you... and I don't even know if you will get to understand this.


Children have a right to education, health and, most important of all... being children !!!!

Thanks god there is people like I@zbz in this world
23:15 June 18, 2010 by Lea

Now.. before you go on with this idea, some numbers for you: Population of Ghana - around 25 million people. Ivory coast population - another 25 million. Sweden's population - 10 million. How do you go about distributing 50 million US$ to 50 million people? 1$ per person? Would that really make a change? The problem is that the third world population growth is not backed up by any economical background. Thus it is economically pointless to spend money on this "project", since it would only cause increase of this non-sustainable population.

Besides, transparency of all this charity organizations, including "Fair Trade", in other countries is highly disputable. I can easily imagine how a certain donation of money from a local producer could suddenly make him "Fair Trade friendly". So, instead of sending money, create work for them and motivate their development. This is the only way.
23:22 June 18, 2010 by glamelixir
@ Lea

I partially agree with what you mention.., transparency is an issue in this kind of organizations. I would never contribute with Rada barnen for example. I don't want my money invested in flyer and tv commercials.

I personally recommend though sending money to small communities where you can have a direct contact.

For example, three years ago I had contact with a small school in the north of Argentina, that with the money gives the kids a full meal at school and another to bring home. And the contribution is ridiculous in Swedish money.

That is an interesting alternative. but It is always better to do something than to just not do anything at all so I appreciate IZBZ's intention at least.
23:33 June 18, 2010 by Lea

What you are saying is a typical Marxist demagogy. It is always easy to blame someone else for your own failure, that admit it, analyze and fix it. This is used by the neo-marxists today, who seem somehow to penetate into subconciousness of most south-americans (Venesuela, Bolivia, and Colombia too). Americans create work places for them, and all they do is accuse them for being rich unrighteously and call them names. Blame corporations. Sure, whatever...

Why haven't you got any worthy local producers that can compete with them, even on a local south american market? Why are you only selling to USA? It seems to me you

re biting the hand that feeds you, and this might not be the wisest thing to do. Wake up from this nonsence, and you might have a chance.

Charity never saved any nation from poverty. Go check history books if you don't believe me. In the end the recipients will never have enough, and will eventually blame the donors for being greedy anyway.
02:30 June 19, 2010 by manrush
Morals have absolutely no place in politics.
08:38 June 19, 2010 by SarahRF
I agree with Bill and with glamelixir at the same time.

Bill is right, in that if these children don't work, they don't eat, their families starve and have no hope of a future. I come from South Africa, and as most of the world knows we have a problem with poverty. There are so many kids in Cape Town alone who are homeless because their families could not provide for them, so they were sort of kicked out. Many of these kids then work in shopping centre parking lots, taking your shopping cart back to the proper place for you, for a measly 5kr. That 5kr is enough to buy them a loaf of bread to eat for the day.

Glamelixir is right in that these children shouldn't have to work at all. They should be in school, learning how to make something of themselves, and playing outside with their friends. Unfortunately we live in a selfish world, where politicians and government leaders would rather take aid money to buy fancy houses and cars instead of providing for the citizens of their country. Look at Robert Mugabe, as one example.

You're never going to get rid of poverty, because that would entail getting rid of selfishness and greed, and that's not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

In a situation like this, the best you can do is offer the children a decent salary so that they don't have to work as long hours as their parents, and offer them an education to balance it out. Then, as generations grow older, expand the education side and take away the work hours, and weed out child labour that way.
17:39 June 19, 2010 by Abbot
Of course, someone had to bring up the tired, boring evil corportate America comment. Guess what? Many huge and powerful international corporations are NOT American. And btw, South America is not Africa. The continents have very different situations and problems.
07:38 June 20, 2010 by krattan
Thank you for the Fair Trade advertisement (the article).
14:11 June 20, 2010 by soultraveler3
SarahRF is right.

Child labor is horrible. Those children should be in school getting educated and learning how to make their situation better and in turn their community's better. That's not how alot of the world works unfortunately. As long as there is greed in the world it's hard for charitable organizations to work. If it's not the organization leaders themselves taking money, it's the middle men.

Personally, I think that micro-loans are the way to go, they're given straight to the reciepent. They've been shown to be hugely sucessful in raising not only individual standards of living but the standard of living for entire communites.
22:53 June 20, 2010 by diegoveggie
keeping up with good old swedish tradition (gina tricot, H&M, ikea, etc etc etc)
13:21 June 21, 2010 by izbz

You must be great in satistics and wow!!!!!you can even count. But who mention about giving to 50 million people? Tell you what....tried helping 1 unfortunate kid first before going for the 50 million. At least you can get an experience and knowledge from this 1 kid.

Good luck
14:16 June 23, 2010 by seychelle_18
Blaming someone else will lead to NOTHING!

The bottom line is that ''DONT GIVE THEM FISH, instead TEACH THEM HOW TO FISH'' and we have helped them in a lifetime. And teaching them how to fish will definitely requires money from the beginning but once they have learned the craft then they could already stand on their own. Helping others unconditionally is a great feeling.

What a wonderful world it would be if that is the case so.
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