Guilt-free chocolate

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The 2014 Easter Slavery-Free Chocolate Campaign was officially launched in late February at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School (PEGS).

The Melbourne-based coalition is made up of different groups including the Uniting Church synod, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Good Shepherd Australia, Victorian Council of Churches and ACRATH, amongst others.

The launch brought together students and staff from PEGS and St. Bernard’s College.

PEGS was chosen as the site of the launch, as they have been very active in raising awareness on the issue of exploitation and trafficking and students have been promoting Fair Trade throughout the school and the local community.

The campaign encourages people to buy slavery-free chocolate for Easter to help stop the trafficking and forced labour of children and adults for chocolate production.

The Easter season (from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day), is a great opportunity to send a strong message to companies who do not produce Fair Trade chocolate.

In recent years the global campaigns have persuaded several well-known chocolate manufacturers, including Cadbury, Nestlé and more recently Haigh’s, to use ethically sourced chocolate.

Buying cocoa beans that are certified Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified, ensures there is no forced or trafficked labour on cocoa plantations.

Unfortunately, much of the world’s chocolate is produced using cocoa beans that have been harvested by trafficked children or forced labour.

The West African countries of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are two of the largest producers and exporters of cocoa in the world.

To ‘spread the word’ of the campaign you can join the Facebook page and share among networks and friends – https://www.facebook.com/sfchoccampaign

For more information please contact Jill Ruzbacky in the JIM Unit: jill.ruzbacky@victas.uca.org.au or 9251 5266

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