Cadbury exposed: New investigation claims to uncover shocking truth behind chocolate bars

An investigation has alleged Cadbury products of being made with child labour abuses.
An investigation has alleged Cadbury products of being made with child labour abuses. Photo credit: Getty Images

Easter is around the corner and our shelves are being stacked with delicious chocolate eggs, including the all-time favourite Cadbury Creme Egg.

But a new investigation has claimed to uncover a shocking truth behind the Cocoa Life stamps on Cadbury chocolate bars.

British television network Channel 4 has revealed an investigation alleging the chocolate company's products are made with child labour abuses.

In footage shown of children working cocoa farms in Ghana, the network claims children as young as ten are working up to nine hours in terrible conditions to harvest the cocoa used in Cadbury's chocolate for less than $3.60 per day.

The allegations come a decade after Cadbury set up Cocoa Life, a company that pledged to support communities in cocoa regions and raise the standard of living, including stopping child labour.

In 2018, Cadbury replaced the Fairtrade logo with Cocoa Life, but said it will continue to work with Fairtrade and implement many of the original initiatives in its programme.

Cocoa Life logo on top right corner.
Cocoa Life logo on top right corner. Photo credit: Cadbury

Under Ghanaian law it is illegal for children under 13 to work, but according to The Sun, it is estimated that 1.56 million children are involved in cocoa production in Ghana, with 95 percent involved in hazardous labour.

"From what we saw, child labour was everywhere," Channel 4 reporter Anthony Barnett said. "We didn't have to go looking for children working on farms - we visited four farms in 12 days, during the harvest, and found evidence of child labour on every one."

The outlet filmed children on one of the farms alleged to be supplying cocoa to Mondelēz, Cadbury's parent company, using sharp knives to open cocoa pods, swinging machetes to harvest pods from the trees and wearing no protective gear.

The network spoke to children who were kept from school to work on the farms, children that had suffered injuries from the machetes and children who were sent across the country by their families to work.

One girl was reportedly trafficked from the north of the country when she was nine years old to work on the farm.

"I can only judge by the people that we spoke to, not just the children, but all the cocoa farmers," Barnett said.

"They were critical of the amount of investment that Cocoa Life was making and were critical of the money they were getting for their cocoa beans. Nobody has a good word to say about Cocoa Life."

Mondelez, Cadbury’s parent company, told The Sun they "strongly refute" allegations that they profit from child labour.