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Case Study - Slavery in Chocolate
Case Study - Slavery in Chocolate
1. What are the systemic, corporate, and individual ethical issues raised by this case?
• Local and Global Laws are not enforced due to lack of resources or the desire to enforce the laws.
• The number of farmers (1M) and the system makes it difficult to identify the source of the cocoa beans harvested using slavery.
• Global decline in cocoa bean prices drove farmers to use slavery to lower labor cost.
• Corporations are unable or unwilling to take action to improve the situation in harvesting the cocoa bean.
• The fundamental demands of shareholder profits drives corporation to turn a blind eye to how cocoa is harvested.
• Chocolate Consumers are kept so far removed from the Cocoa source that they are unaware or choose to be ignorant of the cost involved to create chocolate.
2) In your view is the kind of child slavery discussed in this case absolutely wrong no matter what or is it only relatively wrong i.e. if one happens to live in a society like ours that disapproves of Slavery.
I believe that Slavery is wrong. Kidnapping is wrong. Forced labor for children is wrong. I would like to believe Slavery is absolutely wrong but this is coming from a Western perspective where we hold personal freedom as a right. We also don’t see the populations of poverty that some third world countries face. In countries where there is a high infant/child death rate due to poverty, and starvation, living as a slave could be seen as a preferable option compared to death.

3) Who shares in the moral responsibility for the slavery occurring in the Chocolate industry: African Farmers, African Government, American Chocolate Companies, Distributors, and Consumers?
I believe that all of the above (African Farmers, African Government, American Chocolate Companies, Distributors, and Consumers)…...

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