Angus Kennedy to uncover the truth on Ivory Coast cocoa farms
Spurred on by the recent release of The Cocoa Barometer, Kennedy’s Confection Editor, Angus Kennedy, is planning a film project to reveal what is really going on, on cocoa farms in west-Africa.
The report states that child labour is at “very high levels” in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast and that farmers are struggling with poverty. As a result, Angus has made it his mission to uncover the truth.
He is planning to live on a cocoa farm in the Ivory Coast, accompanied by a film crew, to get a true account of what the situation is, in regard to the claims made in The Cocoa Barometer.
In order to “find the truth”, Angus is aiming to raise £10,000 to carry out this project, and is also looking for people to join him on his trip, to “see and experience” what the farmers are actually going through, as well as look at how cocoa beans are actually being harvested.
After Angus’ video reached 12 million views on Business Insider, he is confident that this project will be successful. He said: “I found myself in a room in Italy for the afternoon away from the office and was thinking, what can I do? what have I done? did I help the cocoa farmers? But, in a way I see that I failed.
“I have published so much about this, talked about it, read about it, tweeted about it and done my bit, but I realised that it was not engaging enough, moving enough, or interesting enough and all I was doing was shouting someone else's message. When you do that there is no passion and the delivery is flat and brilliantly uninspiring. Passion changes the world."
Angus went on to say that he “needed an extra-ordinary project that would create a huge interest”. He continued: “The fact is, farmers are still paid next to nothing and some chocolate truffles sell for 10 Euro each. It’s not right.
“What’s the life of a cocoa farmer actually like? Few in my position have taken the time to actually experience the life and survive on the dollar a day and work on a farm. I am going to see what it's like and do that.
“I don't want to read about any more cocoa industry action plans because I am bored of them, they are everywhere and two a penny now. Everyone is saying they are doing something, but things aren’t working that well. I think we need to face up to that."
Angus says that he is not there to “catch anyone out or get political” and that he just wants to live on a normal farm that is a “fair representation of the chocolate industries” to then use his discoveries to help all those within the trade, “especially governments, producers and especially retailers who are driving the price down, which is completely wrong”
He added: “They need to stop saying that it’s not their fault because they are a part of the problem.
“But shouting about it and pointing fingers is not my aim. I just want to live there and show how it is. This film project is a major step forward and follows on from the publication of my book in the USA this month, Bittersweet!
"It’s a crazy idea, but where logic has failed, insanity has a better chance. I like being insane. I”Il look forward to hearing from individuals that would like to sponsor me to go, I am looking to raise £10,000 which is nothing really considering the millions (not always) but often wasted.
“I will take my film straight to the press when I come home, I have tried but no one listens. They would if I have lived on a farm. We have the film crew all ready. I won’t make any money - nor will the film crew, we all decided we want to do this, because we have to and it’s a good thing to do."
Angus has also put out a new video, further explaining his reasoning for this project. Click here to see: Uncovering the truth on west-African cocoa farms