The bitter side of chocolate

[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”48″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]W[/mks_dropcap]hether it’s white, dark or milk: chocolate is always a good option to brighten up your day. This sweet delicacy is produced with the cocoa beans extracted from the fruit of the Theobroma tree, which interestingly enough translates to ‘food of the gods’. Nearly seven billion pounds of chocolate are consumed worldwide per year, making this industry worth approximately $110,000 billion annually. However, considering that one single pod of cocoa contains about sixty beans and it can take nearly four hundred beans to produce a single pound of chocolate, the production of this good is highly demanded and at times unethical.

Moving to the bitter side of chocolate, Bitter Chocolate Stories is an eye-opening exhibition that aims to bring light upon one of cocoa production’s biggest problems: child labor. More than two million children are exploited every day at cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast and Ghana alone. By sharing the stories of fifteen brave children who suffered working under dreadful conditions, photographer Joana Choumali and journalist Marijn Heemskerk aim to create awareness regarding this issue that grows bigger with every passing year.

Make sure to pay a quick visit to the Beurs van Berlage, situated in Damrak avenue, and learn more about the children, their experiences while producing this lovable sweet and ways in which you can help stop child labor in cocoa production.

Andrea Rossignoli
Andrea Rossignoli (18), born and raised in Ecuador, is a first-year International track student. After turning 13, she moved to Argentina where she lived for three years and discovered her deep interest for art and photography. This year she is joining Medium Magazine as part of the photography team in hopes it will give her knowledge and experience to achieve her goal of becoming a photojournalist. Her days are spent missing her mom’s cooking, stressing about statistics and eating one too many stroopwafels.

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