BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Humphrey Hawksley
"The Ivory Coast is clear about who is to blame"
 real 56k

Christian Aid's Andrew Pendleton
"The global price for cocoa is too low"
 real 56k

Brian Wilson MP, Foreign Office Minister
"We've established a task force"
 real 56k

John Newman, Spokesman for chocolate industry
Julia Powell, Fairtrade Foundation
 real 56k

Friday, 4 May, 2001, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK
Ivory Coast accuses chocolate companies
Cocoa plantation in Ghana
More developing countries are growing cocoa
By Humphrey Hawksley

Chocolate companies have been told they will have to pay more for cocoa if child slavery is to end in West Africa.

In an uncompromising message, Ivory Coast - the world's biggest producer of cocoa - has blamed the multinationals for keeping prices low and farmers in poverty, driving some of them into using forced labour.

Senior Ivory Coast ministers are pressing their case to the UK Government at meetings on Friday, and the chocolate companies have been called to the Foreign Office to explain their policies.

The Ivory Coast Prime Minister, Pascal Affi N'Guessan, said chocolate companies were only interested in their own profits.

chocolate
Britons consume 4m of chocolate very year
If child labour was to stop, he said, the companies would have to pay considerably more to the farmers who grow cocoa.

The international industry itself was at the heart of the problem of child trafficking in Africa, he said, adding that multinationals had encouraged more and more developing countries to grow cocoa, which had forced down the price.

He named a price almost 10 times higher than it is now to ensure the quality of life for the seven million farmers and their families in Ivory Coast.

Two Ivory Coast cabinet ministers have flown to London for a meeting with the Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Brian Wilson.

After that, Mr Wilson will be seeing chocolate executives to try to persuade them to do more to ensure their products are not tainted by slave labour.

The industry says the buying chain for cocoa is so complex that it is impossible to guarantee the working practices on every farm.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

17 Apr 01 | Africa
'Slave ship' timeline
16 Apr 01 | Africa
West Africa's 'little maids'
06 Aug 99 | Africa
West Africa's child slave trade
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Benin
28 Sep 00 | Africa
The bitter taste of slavery
29 Sep 00 | Africa
Mali's children in slavery
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories