Encourage Clif to raise the bar on child slavery!
For more than a year, Food Empowerment Project has been asking companies to tell us which countries supply the cacao used to make their chocolate products. Our goal? To ensure that consumers are able to make informed decisions and not inadvertently buy chocolate that comes from the slave trade in West Africa, a region steeped in child labor. We are not asking for full supply chain information or grower names – simply the cacao beans’ country of origin.
You can see a list of the companies that have disclosed this information here:
If you scroll down to the list of companies that will not tell us where they source their cacao, one of the names might surprise you – it surprised us: Clif Bar & Company.
We have been in communication with Clif Bar since May 2011, and they tell us that they cannot disclose the country of origin for proprietary reasons. (See our letter)
Now, why would a company not want to disclose information about where they source their cacao? We are not asking for company names – only country. Clif Bar acknowledges on their website “that food matters to our families, our communities, and our planet – as our food choices affect the physical, social, and environmental fabric of our lives.” They even pledge a commitment to communities worldwide. Yet this now all seems to be empty rhetoric.
We all know why companies like Nike and Apple took so long to disclose information on their supply chains: because they had something to hide. But does Clif?
Recently, Clif Bar announced that they intend to use the Rainforest Alliance certification, a system that imposes the least amount of requirements on the companies that plan to use its seal. Indeed, it’s the same certification that Hershey plans to begin using later this year on its Bliss line of products. While we appreciate Clif Bar’s effort, our question remains the same: Where do you source your cacao from?
How could a company that prides itself on social responsibility choose to not be transparent about an issue as important as child slavery? What does Clif have to hide?
Join us in asking them.
You can email them at:
Call at: 1-800-254-3227
Write to them:
Clif Bar & Company
1451 66th Street
Emeryville, CA 94608-1004
Let us know if you have questions and we would appreciate you sharing with us their response.