Developed by J.R. Jamison on behalf of Kelsey Timmerman

Part II Chocolate: Product of West Africa

Chapter 5:  Solo Man

  1. The Civil War in the Ivory Coast has changed farming in the country.  What was the impetus of the Civil War?  How has it affected farming?
  2. How did the World Bank’s takeover of the Ivory Coast post-1989 impact small farmers?
  3. Today, only 2.5% of profit makes it into the farmers’ wallets.  The saying is, “Money in adding value, not farming.”  How has this shift in West Africa transitioned purchasing in the U.S.?
  4. There is speculation that Utz and other certifications in West Africa mean nothing.  What are steps that could be taken to properly certify chocolate that aren’t currently being taken?
  5. Nearly 10,000 children in West Africa are slave labor.  Major chocolate companies are aware, and by 2020 they claim they will source 100% certified cocao.  Certified by whom?  What lessons could be learned from current Fair Trade practices in Colombia from Part I of EATING?


Chapter 6:  Slavery and Freedom

  1. There are 160,000 forced adult laborers in the Ivory Coast.  Often this can be categorized as indentured servitude and at times slavery – is there a difference among the terms?
  2. If we paid an extra 0.0043 cents for our chocolate, farmers could have a better living.  What is keeping the consumer from taking this action?
  3. Will it be possible, from our purchasing actions, to change the way of life for farmers and forced adult laborers in West Africa?
  4. If you feel that you should boycott chocolate that isn’t Fair Trade, how will that negatively impact farmers?  How might it help?
  5. Kelsey tried to help Solo to freedom, but Solo had no papers, no money, and nowhere to go.  If you had been in Kelsey’s shoes, would you have tried to free Solo?  What would have been your plan?


Chapter 7:  Is it Peace?

  1. As Kelsey searched for Solo’s family, he crossed into Burkina Faso.  Three to four million Burkinas live in the Ivory Coast, leaving behind their families for $300 or less per year.  What has caused this migration?
  2. What role did farming play in the change of climate for Burkina Faso?
  3. Burkinas have moved to the Ivory Coast for “better” opportunities, which is not uncommon in the rest of the world.  One-third of the world is on a journey from farm to city.  How have these migrations changed the way we eat?
  4. By 2050, 75% of the world will live in a city.  How will this increase in migrations continue to change the way we eat?
  5. What are solutions to keeping farmers on farms while farming sustainably

Part II Chocolate: Product of West Africa – Section Reflection   

Write a 500 word free write on your reflections from Part II of WHERE AM I EATING? using the following statements as prompts.

  1. Slavery.
  2. Child labor.
  3. Global warming.
  4. Migrating for money.
  5. Middle men, companies, and the lives of people.