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African cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time. Now they understand white people…

Jul 29, 2014 By Abraham

This video is almost as sweet as the food it’s about. It will make you feel spoiled by the simple luxuries we take for granted, but at the same time you’ll find it wonderfully uplifting (and funny).

Several farmers and laborers in Ivory Coast who grow and harvest the key ingredient in chocolate — cocoa beans — have never tasted the finished product. In fact, they’ve never even heard of it.

One farmer says…

To be honest I do not know what they make of my beans. I’ve heard they’re used as flavoring in cooking, but I’ve never seen it. I do not even know if it’s true.

When they get a chance to taste the fruit of their labors in this mini-documentary, they are more than a little surprised. The video as a whole is quite heartwarming, but what they have to say about white people and chocolate is downright hilarious…


  1. signore says:

    The interviewer is communicating with the group in French (being the official language of Côte d’Ivoire and the default lingua franca). The farmers talk to each other using a mixture of French and one (or more) of the local languages (there are dozens). The narration is in Dutch.

  2. Truth says:

    Exploitation at it’s best
    This story is tagged as “uplifting” which I think says even more about how people get exploited and the exploiters think of themselves as saviors when they are kind to the ones they exploited

    1. guest says:

      Normally I think the ‘social justice’ and ‘anti-colonialism’ commentators are too irrationally strident and absolutist to see things objectively, but this time I have to agree with you, ‘Truth’. I like the video on its own merits; it could be used as a means of education. But the text above the video is downright disturbing to me. Exactly HOW is this ‘uplifting’ ? Sure, it has sweet aspects, but underneath it is the reality of generational exploitation. The main reasons I can make 10x as much money with 1/10th as much work are tied up in an oppressive history.

    2. Peter says:

      Very, true, very true. Made me sad and want to punch the people who find that uplifting in their face… They should be ashamed, yet they are not. So disgusting…

  3. Michelle says:

    Why can’t anyone ever leave a decent comment. It’s always about judging someone. I’m not even going to get into it.
    I liked the video to see happy they were to learn about chocolate. On the other hand it’s sad to know they had no idea what it’s used for and how little they are paid for their hard work. I wish I can send them more chocolate especially for the kids…

    1. guest says:

      There is a lot of sickness in the world; to talk about the reality of this sickness is usually going to involve judging someone.

    2. Elvis says:

      That’s a generous and nice sentiment. But it’s better to buy fair-trade chocolate though.

      That way farmers get a better deal for their labour and can give their kids more opportunities (one of the few things better than chocolate!) :D

  4. Lyone says:

    I wish those farmers and workers would be able to make their own chocolate!!! If a few of them got together to start a collective–to buy the tools and space–they would have something that many of us out here would buy. Better than fair trade: African produced.

  5. DanO says:

    For those individuals, they experienced something that changed their lives. Something small, but taken for granted by most. To say they are exploited, is a very ignorant statement. What would make you happy? Pull out of that region, build a massive factory, and then hire specific individuals? What then? Leave the self employed farmers alone to starve? They are working with their land and the skill sets they have. I travel a lot for work, and I spent a lot of time in a very poor area of Nicaragua. No cars, no electricity, not even runnin water. Their homes were built from miscellaneous pieces of garbage. Yet, these were the happiest people I have met in my travels. They do not look for a giant big screen television or a HiFi stereo. They embrace life as it comes. When you live in a world where you pay monthly 1500 Euro for a home, 250 for a car and let’s not even get into the daily spending, of course your income must match. In Germany, I see people paid crazy wages, driving high end cars and enjoying the finest wines. so far in my travels, the people here seem to be the least happy. You do the math

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