Chocolate’s cocoa history dates to 5000 years as cocoa-based confectionery the archeological finds says Ecuador people from ancient Mayo-Chinchipe culture ingested a cacao-based in 3,300 BC. The Maya civilisation peak from 250 to 850 CE is first evidence human’s consumed chocolate as hot drink. Aztecs made it so popular and dyed it red achiote seeds. It is “Food from God” nobility, kings, chiefs drank so is scientific name for chocolate is theobroma cacao. In mid-1700s Carl Linnaeus Swedish made classification of animal and plants species. Britain’s first shipment of chocolate was mistaken for sheep poo when a Spanish shipment of cocoa beans was off course, seized at a coast of Britain in 16th century assumed contents sheep droppings and burned it. Cacao fruit in an Ecuadorean rainforest is cacao-based substance first ingested. The Pope stopped the priests arguing in 17th century as two orders of Catholic monks ask if chocolate was a drink to be consumed if fasting. Pope Alexander VII decreed chocolate beverage drinks monks allowed if fasting.People receive heart-shaped chocolates on Valentine’s Day since 1935. Chocolate was associated with rebellion. In France and Spain chocolate drink reserved for privileged and in England consumed by intellectual, political thinkers. In 1660s Charles II threatened to close down the chocolate and coffee shops rebels where radicals congregated. In the 1930s, a box of chocolates cost 10 weeks’ rent. Solid chocolate invented in 1847 big brands industrialised chocolate fondant centres was popular. Sold in handmade boxes decorated with silk tassel, lace, Cadbury Fancy Box. By 1930s, ornate confections popular is expensive the Rowntree’s box priced at 100 shillings a rent 10 shillings a week. Popular chocolate bars are 100 years old. From the golden age of cocoa-based creativity in 1920s,1930s products like Cadbury’s Flake, Fruit and Nut, and Crunchy bars in 1920s Mars Bar in 1933, Milky Way and KitKat in 1935, Maltesers in 1936, Aero and Smarties in 1937. First fondant eggs in 1920s but the Creme Egg Fry’s product branded later Cadbury’s. White chocolate was made medicine for children in Switzerland in 1930s doctors wanted to give the children in hospitals a vitamin-enriched milk to drink. The children thought milk was babyish and cocoa butter added as white chocolate. This nutritionally enhanced chocolate product was popular widely sold and is modern still available in Europe today. Unofficial KitKat’s dark chocolate mixed with Ryvita in WWII. Second World War Rowntree’s stopped producing KitKats or Chocolate Crisps made guns factory workers and families missed KitKats so tried hand-making unauthorised filled moulds with strips of Ryvita. Poured in dark chocolate for soldier’s ration. Only one chocolate bar made from the British grown cocoa beans as plants thrive in equator temperatures of 16°C+. In 1932, workers at Rowntree’s factory in York grew cacao plants in Britain produced a plant in a hothouse, to harvest one pod of cocoa beans. This made a single tiny chocolate bar for Queen Elizabeth II. In 450 BC Aztecs in Latin America used the fermented cocoa seeds into powder and drunk bitter. Seeds had so much value it was used as currency. Then Westerners joined them and tasted it bitter so added sugar to sweeten cocoa drinks and bars. Tetteh Quashie from Ghana brought the cocoa seeds to Gold Coast and thrived so became a global commodity exported. A tropical temperature suited cocoa best it flourishes in Ghana, Ivory Coast and in Nigeria exported into Western countries Belgium, Britain Cadbury World, Nestle of Switzerland among top 15 countries. In 1591 the first transatlantic chocolate cocoa reached Spain turns into popular product as demand grew. The cocoa tree planted from seeds grown is harvested by difficult process by slaves used in its production. History of cocoa process of industrialization of chocolate used slave labour on plantations to supply world with cocoa beans to make chocolate. The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe a then colony of Portugal and West Africa archipelago were first to cultivate cocoa among the world’s largest producers in the 20thcentury. The increasing demand from Europe cleared more acres of this plantations. Slaves from Angola of more settlers and more machinery increased supply chain of cocoa and chocolates.
The British Journalist Henry Nevinson documented plight of plantation slaves in articles, magazines and book Modern Slavery published in 1906 in a Harpers Monthly Magazine.“A long line of men and women at intervals of about a yard, were clearing plantation. ..To the back of every woman clung an infant’s head lay between her shoulders, bumped against her back as she struck hoe in the ground.Five or six yards behind them officers stood, white men, or three parts white, dressed in traditional planter style of big hat, white shirt, and loose trousers. Each carried an eight foot stick of hard wood, whitewood, pointed at ends” Nevinson’s work included numerous photographs, descriptions of the working conditions that fueled controversy in Great Britain.Despite attention to business practices of Cadbury company of Great Britain as biggest owner then of these plantations manufactured chocolates. It publicised situation, shows complicated network dodges blame. Public pressure results in government intervention investigations court case. Cadbury stopped purchasing from São Tomé and Príncipe tranferred the cocoa plantations into West Africa.Despite official abolition of slavery the slaves were transported another 400 years and ongoing in parts of the world. In 2001, slave ship MV Etireno carrying several hundred children from Benin were reported missing refused entry to Gabon and Cameroon rescued children. UNICEF becomes involved investigating reveals slave trafficking operation links West Africa in Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast is the world’s largest supplier of cocoa beans provide 43 % of world’s supply. The 600,000 cocoa farms in Ivory Coast account for one-third of nation’s entire economy half the world’s supply for chocolate trade. Most people who are trafficked tricked and lied to with fantastic job prospects with good pecks assured. Find themselves enslaved and victims abused by such traffickers.
Human trafficking and child slavery in cocoa and chocolate industry continues today. The Freedom Project investigated series by CNN broadcasted on chocolate industry and government of Ivory Coast address modern slavery in plantations.Children at seven years old are working harvesting cocoa pods and beans for the sweet chocolate delicacies of Western people. Education is not compulsory in some countries and due to school fees so many cannot afford to pay. Therefore children work family business to gain skills even if illiterate become farmers. CNN report felt public must know about it to take action and to stop it, said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin with Rep. Eliot Engel of New York in response: “How many people know the wonderful chocolates they eat are produced by child labour.Agreed a voluntary protocol signed by heads of chocolate industry to stop child labour to certify the cocoa trade as child labour free. The working conditions in cocoa growing bring awareness of a fair trade by consumers. A researcher noted lack of evidence of ethical consumption among end-user improved situations of the child workers on West African cocoa farms. Consider questions on the rights of cocoa farmers and conditions faced by producers. Concerns of safety or well being ignored by its sold to government as sole buyer. Western countries ensure West African cocoa grown is harvested to Belgium and G7 countries but these workers are not afforded equal rights.