Groups Promote Fair Trade Chocolate At ‘Charlie’ Screenings

The Lone Star Iconoclast

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Willy Wonka may have been nice to his own chocolate factory workers, but a group of fair trade advocates are shining light on the real chocolate industry’s abusive child labor associations with cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast.

Global Exchange, International Labor Rights Fund, United Students for Fair Trade, and the Canadian Fair Trade Network are organizing creative actions to promote fair trade at screenings of Tim Burton’s summer blockbuster “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which hit U.S. theaters last Friday.

“A peak behind the sourcing practices of companies like Mars, Hershey and Nestle — maker of the Wonka Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight — reveals not a magical candy forest, but a real human tragedy as children as young as nine continue to toil under unimaginable conditions on West African cocoa farms,” said the group in a joint statement.

Actions were planned in San Francisco; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Victoria, B.C.; Honolulu; Portland, M.E.; Albuquerque; and more.

Global Exchange also encourages teachers, counselers, and youth group leaders to add its Fair Trade education materials to their student’s summer reading list. Fair Trade lesson plans, teaching materials and action guides for children of all ages are available online at (