Group member: Li Ruixuan, Chen Yi, Ai Huanyu, Jin Peiyao, Wu Jindi. Research method: This case talks about Slavery in the chocolate industry. They treat children as slavery, and force them to do hard work. The reason by various factors, we can discuss form systemic, corporate and individual ethical issues. Such as systemic, economic systems should be taken into consideration. Cocoa bean prices had declined, between 1996 and 2000, the price control by the global market but farmers had no control. Farmers turned to slavery to try to cut labour cost for their survival in this situation by the low prices.
Slavery on farms is illegal in the Ivory Coast but the law is rarely enforced. But the government from their country has their own situation, a shortage of enforcement officers, the willingness of local officials etc. The case information we found it by some website:
http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/index.html And we also got some useful information from the book in page 64-67.
Division of labour and schedule including presentation preparation: We followed the question below the case from the book to division of labour. Each question was answered by one or two group member, the number decides by question. Presentation follows the report, which part of report you did, then which part of presentation you do.
Initial findings: After read the case and discussed, in our view, the situation made by the basic reason of our consumer, like us who buy chocolate from these company. The most of consumers did not know about this situation, they just know something good about chocolate and did not know something bad. Affect global market through our consumer, and made a good plan to solve the situation. Media’s power is great. Some company said if they did not used coco beans from these areas, then it will make these poor areas…
What a systematic, corporate, an individual and ethical issues raised by this case? The systematic ethical issues raised by this case include economical, political, and legal questions. Let us first look at the economical repercussions. Would it be economically logical not to do any business with these countries? The answer is no, considering close to half of the world’s chocolate is made from the cocoa beans that are grown in the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
If we were to refuse to do any business with these countries or the people associated with these countries, the costs of the products may be un-affordable to consumers. As far as political issues, I’m sure we’re not the only country who does business with these other countries, and if we stop doing business with the ivory coast and Ghana the other countries that also do business with them may stop doing business with us. The last systematic issue raised is legal. As stated in the article slavery on the farms is in illegal in the Ivory Coast. Whether it is or how well the laws are enforced is for the most part out of our control.
In your view, is the kind of slavery discussed in the case absolutely wrong no matter what, or is it relatively wrong, i.e., if what happens to live in a society like ours that disapproves of slavery? I feel slavery of any kind is wrong whether the society approves or disapproves of it. However, throughout history slavery has been a common practice of most societies across the world. If the young boys in this case had been treated better, for example better working conditions, better sleeping conditions, better living conditions, and better treatment in general would this article ever have appeared? Probably not, I think the major moral issue here is the treatment of the boys.
Who shares in the moral responsibility for the slavery occurring in the chocolate industry: African farmers? African governments? American chocolate… [continues]