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Candy brands to avoid this Halloween

December 8, 2021

Halloween usually brings one thing to mind. That thing is candy,  and after not really having Halloween last year because of COVID-19, people are eager to start buying and celebrating. With that in mind, here are candy brands to avoid this upcoming holiday and possible alternatives.

There are three big corporations that own practically each popular name brand of candy, which are Hershey, Mars and Nestlé. In recent years, all three companies have come under fire for unethical practices, the most jarring being the exploitation of child labor in third-world countries, and potentially slavery, to harvest cocoa for cheap prices. The work is physically dangerous and arguably emotionally traumatizing for the children involved.

The chocolate industry itself has been linked to child labor, slavery and human trafficking. In extreme cases, children as young as five living in extreme poverty in Western Africa and Latin America are sold to cocoa farms to work, not seeing their families for years, if ever again. Children use dangerous weaponry like chainsaws and machetes to farm, injuring themselves over the years. Should they not work fast enough, they are beaten.

Hershey- Hershey owns 5th Avenue, Almond Joy, bark Thins, breath savers, Brookside, Bubble Yum, Heath, Jolly rancher, Hershey, Ice Breaker, Mr. Goodbar, PayDay, Mounds, MilkDuds, KitKat, Rolo, Hershey Kisses, Reese’s, Twizzlers, York and Whoppers.

Mars- Lifesavers, m&m’s, MilkyWay, Mars, Wrigley’s Hubba Bubba, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit, Galaxy, Dove, 3 Musketeers, Skittles, Starburst and Twix are all owned by Mars.

Nestlé- 100 Grand, Baby Ruth, Bottle Caps, Butterfinger, Crunch, Everlasting Gobstopper, Fun Dip, Laffy Taffy, Nerds, Oompas, Pixy Stix, Raisinets and SweeTARTS.

The latest evaluations of these companies’s practices are average at best. Green America’s newest audit gave Mars and Nestlé both a C+ in ethical production practices, while giving Hershey a C.

Child labor conditions are obviously horrific. Some lesser known alternatives are available to prevent supporting these companies. Alter Ego, Divine, Endangered Species, Equal Exchange, Shaman, Theo Chocolate and Tony’s Chocolonely are options.

All of these brands scored an A on the same evaluation scale, and all hold several labor certificates that ensure ethical practices. On top of that, names are so much more fun with clean, colorful, intricate and simple designs! There is something for everyone. Consider buying these from these brands instead!

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