According the Fortune magazine article, “Was Your Easter Chocolate Made With Child Labor,” by Brain O’Keefe, “For the past 15 years, the chocolate industry has been grappling with a persistent problem: child labor in its supply chain. Cocoa is the main ingredient in chocolate, and the majority of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa ….The major chocolate companies—from Mars to Nestlé to Hershey are heavily reliant on these countries for their cocoa supply. Most of the cocoa is produced on small farms by farmers living in extreme poverty. That poverty often leads to child labor. In 2001, after persistent media reports about child labor abuses and trafficking stirred outrage, the chocolate industry pledged to end the practices, but progress has been slow. By some measures the problem has actually been getting worse, not better. Some 2.1 million children were engaged in objectionable labor practices in cocoa farming in Ivory Coast and Ghana, according to a U.S. Department of Labor-funded survey of child labor in West Africa …. The total number of children found to be subject to child labor was a 21% increase over the previous survey five years earlier.”
Assume you are a major shareholder with Mars candies and have consistently seen record profits and are reliant on that income. However, recently with numerous media reports, you are growing concerned about the working conditions in the countries from which they import their chocolate and want to discuss it with the private owners of Mars. In a letter to Forrest and John Mars, brothers and listed as the wealthiest family in the United States, discuss your concerns and potential solutions to this issue while still maintaining awareness for your bottom line.
Please address your letter to:
Forrest and John Mars
6885 Elm Street
McLean, Virginia 22101
FYI: Mars makes the following: Snickers, m&m’s, Twix, Skittles, Dove and Milky Way
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