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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:38 AM

Its both sad and horrific to think that chocolate, such a pleasure and luxury item in the west comes as such a high cost. It's so sad that so many people are oppressed and used in situations such as this just so those living in places of plenty can enjoy resources like chocolate. Unfortunately it seems for the few to benefit many more have to suffer and endure hardships.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor. 

AnthonyAcosta/NoahMata's curator insight, April 8, 1:36 PM

 (Social)

 

Chocolate is a very known thing in first world countries and is not known for what is needed to make it. So in Africa they smuggle children from various places in Africa and force them to labor for cocoa beans and work on plantations. Many young children near there   Teen ages are taken and put through labor for most of there young lives.

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Food, Nutrition and Geography

Peter Menzel's beautiful photography and our Hungry Planet...

 

This video is a fascinating portal into global food systems and how globalization is impacting local foods.  He traveled around the world to see what families eat in a given week, and how much all the food cost and where it can from.  Many wealthy countries exhibit poor nutritional habits (eating food high in fat, sugar and salt) while some in poorer people have a very balanced diet.  This leads him to describe the 'Nutritional Transition.'  Warning before showing in class: there are brief instances of non-sexualized nudity in the video. 


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FARM-Africa Cassava project

A short film showing the work of FARM-Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF) in Uganda. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is working with FARM...

 

The Green Revolution is (belatedly) impacting Africa.  Notice the cultural environment within which agriculture takes place here.   What are the gendered differences in the production of food?  What impact does that have on society?


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:29 PM
Wow not just the men in the video are working this hard, but women and children as well. It makes you think how much we have as Americans and how much we take everything for granted. These African people are tough, they have to do so much more to survive than we do.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 7, 2012 10:46 AM
This video helps us to see the innovative ways African farmers use Cassava. Cassava is a market crop that many African people are dependent on. They know in order to achieve an income from the crop they need to market it in different varieties, for example- to turn it in to flour. Cassava is labor intensive crop that can take up to a year to be at it's full potential, but the people, women and children included, know that they need to tend to the crop in every stage to insure its success. With the income from the crop, families are able to send their children to school.
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The Geography of Hunger and Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world's no.1 health risk...

 

Excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO's are trying to combat the issues.   This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it's heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics.  


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, December 5, 2011 1:02 AM
This is a incredible clip that does challenge students to synthesize information and make the connections between topics, but it can also help students to realize making a difference at a early age is important. I learned an abundance of facts just from watching, it was informative and intriguing. As I was watching the video I was thinking of ways it can be incorporated into the classroom. This video could get students to learn about the world's number one health risk. Incorporating it into the classroom by holding a food drive, or having a school wide fundraiser to donate to the British Red Cross is also another way to help. Getting our future minds informed and helping the community will make an impact in the future.