On December 5th, Emeryville-based Clif Bar, the popular energy and nutrition bar company, finally released the country origins of its cocoa, which can be found here.

The Food Empowerment Project (FEP), a vegan food justice organization, has been prodding Clif Bar for years to disclose where it sources the cocoa used in its products. Many cocoa farms in Western Africa use exploitive child labor, and Clif Bar’s supposed commitment to social responsibility yet lack of corporate transparency was a hot contradiction.

FEP encouraged consumers to sign a Care2 petition to show their demand for Clif Bar’s transparency. It is still uncertain whether the farms of the countries Clif Bar imports its cocoa from use exploitive child labor, but knowing which countries to analyze brings us one step closer in the push for ethically produced chocolate.

Below are consumer resources of local chocolate sourcing and producing:

  • FEP provides a list of chocolate companies they are comfortable and uncomfortable with recommending
  • Fair Trade Certified cocoa emphasizes sustainable cocoa production and strictly prohibits forced and child labor
  • Sweet Bar Bakery in downtown Oakland uses local Guittard and Tcho chocolate in its goodies, both of which uphold high standards of social and environmental consideration
  • Family-owned Xocolate Bar in Berkeley uses couverture organic, fair trade chocolate
  • Find how pervasive child and slave labor is in the global chocolate industry

About The Author

Simone writes about the currents circulating beneath mainstream, with a focus on non-profit developments and at-risk youth enrichment. Outside of freelancing for Oakland Local, she works in the foster care system of Contra Costa County and nerds out on literary magazines. Simone also spearheads the Community Voices section of OL. Contact her at simonelarson@oaklandlocal.com

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