Slavery in the ChocolateIndustry
Q1: What are the systemic, corporate and individual ethical issues raised by this case?
Ans: Slavery in the chocolate industry case has systemic, corporate and individual ethical issues.Firstly, from the point of systemic ethical issue , economic systems should be taken intoconsideration. Between 1996 and 2000, cocoa bean prices had declined. The decline wasdictated by the global forces over which farmers had no control. With low prices, farmersturned to slavery to try to cut labor cost for their survival in this situation. There is another systemic issue relates to the legal aspect of slavery in the chocolate industry. Actually, slaveryon farms is illegal in the Ivory Coast but the law is rarely enforced. Open borders, a shortageof enforcement officers, and the willingness of local officials to accept bribes from membersof the slave trade all contribute to the problem.Secondly,corporate ethical issue raised by the case. Middlemen who grind and processcocoa beans they acquire from the Ivory Coast and sell the product to manufacturers. Somiddlemen aware of the slavery labor problem. After the media attention and antislaverygroup activities, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, the membersof the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation, together withseveral human rights groups and the Ivory Coast. signed Memorandum of Cooperation. Theyalso agreed to establish a system of certification. But the problem is, they can not control over anything. Because there are 1 million cocoa farms, most of them family farms and theylocated in remote rural regions.Lastly, there are some individual ethical issues in the case. Cocoa farmers are at the center of the issue. Because, it is illegal to use child slavery labor. Also it is immorally wrong to takesomeone unwillingly. The second issue is the consumers who knows the problem, companynames and continues to consumer their products. Consumers...
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