Heat sensitive cups reveal the dark side of cocoa

Last week, the Canadian Fair Trade Network and Rethink Communications took to a Canadian campus to raise awareness for what the United Nations refers to as, “some of the worst forms of child labour” with a stunt that left university students speechless. Passers-by were treated to a cup of hot cocoa that, when filled, activate thermal ink to reveal a devastating message: 1.8 million children work on cocoa plantations. Many of them are slaves. Needless to say, the fact shocked quite a few students. Please share and buy fair trade.

“The use of child slavery in the West African cocoa industry is well documented,” says Sean McHugh, Executive Director of the Canadian Fair Trade Network, “but public awareness of the issue is almost non-existent. We wanted to tell the public in a way that got talked about. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who can facilitate change – especially younger consumers, like students.”

The use of child labour in the cocoa industry has been common knowledge, at least amongst activist organizations, since the late 1990s. Despite this, chocolate companies have made little attempt to fix the situation. The Canadian Fair Trade Network hopes that awareness of this issue will change consumers’ purchasing habits and put pressure on chocolate companies to commit to ethically sourcing their cocoa.

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This campaign recieved the 2016 Award of Excellence from the Communication Art's 2016 Design Competition. 

Start Date: 
Monday, March 21, 2016 to Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Location: 
Organizer: 
Canadian Fair Trade Network & Rethink Communications