Where does chocolate fit into the curriculum?Citizenship: child labour/slavery, fair trade Design & Technology: food production, fair trade History: colonialism, slavery Geography: sustainability, development, agriculture, supply chain, fair trade PSHE: healthy lifestyles Science: sustainability Scroll down the page or click on these links to explore the global dimension to chocolate: Olmecs of Mexico were the first civilisation to use cocoa beans, which grew wild in Central America, as far back as 1500BC. Chocolate was first ingested as a drink and the Maya are generally credited with creating the first chocolate beverage over 2,000 years ago.The Aztecs associated chocolate with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility and often used chocolate as a sacred offering. Cocoa beans were first brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century. In 1687 an English doctor, Sir Hans Sloane, was travelling in Jamaica where he tried chocolate. He didn’t like it much, but when he added milk to it, he thought it tasted much better. He brought his milk chocolate recipe back to England, where it was sold as a medicine. It wasn’t until the mid 19th century when taxes were reduced and transport became cheaper, that the masses could afford chocolate; before then it was the preserve of the aristocracy. (Can your pupils imagine what it might be like to taste chocolate for the first time? This YouTube clip shows cocoa farmers trying it out: First taste of chocolate in Ivory Coast.) The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century. The Chocolate Trading Co website tells us a little bit more about their history:
"The modern chocolate Easter egg with its smoothness, shape and flavour owes its progression to the two greatest developments in the history of chocolate - the invention of a press for separating cocoa butter from the cocoa bean by the Dutch inventor Van Houten in 1828 and the introduction of a pure cocoa by Cadbury Brothers in 1866."Quaker chocolate companies (such as Cadbury, Fry’s and Rowntree's) were known for their social reforms: Cadbury’s was the first firm in England to grant its workers a five-day work week and in 1893 they started to build Bournville, a model village for their workers with decent housing, schools and sporting facilities. By 1915 death rates and infant mortality in Bournville were half those of Birmingham as a whole. Cadbury's Dairy Milk went Fairtrade in 2009. West Africa has been the centre of world cocoa cultivation for the last 60 years and today produces 67% of the world’s cocoa. The four major cocoa producers in West Africa are Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. Ninety percent of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms of 12 acres or less (according to Divine Chocolate and DFID's Developments magazine). Fair trade is critical to help these farmers move themselves and their children out of poverty. This short video clip from the Divine chocolate company introduces the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana, where fair trade has improved the lives or cocoa producers and their families. (There are more resources about Kuapa Kokoo on the Papapaa website.) [embed]https://youtu.be/M7Mij795KuU[/embed] Teaching resources about chocolate and fair trade Papapaa (Comic Relief); loads of lesson plans, videos and resources (ages 7-14) Trading Visions lesson plans and resources Christian Aid’s Chocolate Trade Game (ages 7-14) study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (PDF) shows that by 2030 a large amount of the area currently used in cocoa production will no longer be viable for this crop. And if, as expected, the production of cocoa declines, the fragility of farmers' reliance on a single crop to make a living will be revealed. This article from the Guardian (November 2014) explores different reasons for a possible 'chocolate shortage', covering the farmers in Ivory Coast, the processors in Indonesia, the shopkeepers in China and the chocoholics in the UK : The cocoa crisis: why the world’s stash of chocolate is melting away. CNN Freedom Project - Video clips documenting child slavery in cocoa production Chocolate - The Bitter Truth - Panorama documentary Chaga and the Chocolate Factory - Story and teaching resources from Stop the Traffik about a boy in Mali who is sold into slavery on a cocoa plantation. Fairtrade Fortnight (late Feb/early March) World Fair Trade Day (12 May) World Day Against Child Labour (12 June) World Food Day (16 October) Anti Slavery Day (18 October) These case studies show how other schools have explored chocolate's global links Studying child workers in Wales and the Ivory Coast Learning about fair trade chocolate A fair trade awareness day We got the facts and figures at the top of this page from World Atlas of Chocolate and The Business of Chocolate.