I didn’t realise that a lot of the chocolate in the US, and so presumably also in New Zealand, is produced, at least in part, by child slave labour. That adds quite a lot of ‘bitter’ to the sweetness, eh!
greenLAgirl has a post you should read on the topic. An excerpt:
…chocolates … [are] the bane of children growing up in the Ivory Coast, who get sold into slave-like labor and toil in the fields to produce the sweet stuff.
Half the world’s chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast. And while choco demand’s been growing — and western companies getting rich off of that demand — the people who toil to farm and harvest the stuff have yet to see the benefits of this choco-love.
… due to these labor abuses, big corporations can buy chocolate cheaply — and thus sell them very cheaply. Then, when fair trade chocolate comes on the market, the ethically-produced stuff looks horribly overpriced compared to the slave-labor stuff. We, the US public, are fooled into thinking that the “normal” cost of chocolate should be dirt cheap — and feel we’re somehow being overcharged when fair trade chocolate ends up costing considerably more.
Read the whole post for all the details: Chocolate-love, with a dose of fair trade activism.