Earth Scouts’ Group Buycotts Hershey’s

“What I found disturbing is that the children were smuggled on to the cocoa farms and not only worked hard for no pay but were also beaten”, exclaimed the 7th grade girl at Academy Prep Tampa.

Earth Scout at Academy Prep Tampa

The film, “Dark Side of Chocolate” was an eye-opener for the girls, who were working on their Earth Scouts’ “Eat Fair Trade Chocolate & Change the World” badge. A sense of disbelief and outrage fueled their determination to launch a buycott of Hersey’s chocolate for Halloween treats.  They mounted a school-wide campaign that included posters and the signing of petitions to be sent to Hershey’s as part of the Green America initiative.  Hershey’s is one of the largest chocolate companies that still buys from cocoa farms that use child labor.

The Earth Scouts (ES) is a program of Earth Charter US that provides a highlight for the Operation Bon Appétit Sizzle Tape being produced to promote the Cultural Innovations Agency’s planned TV series to Change the World One Dinner Party at a Time.  Earth Scouts is for boys and girls ages 3 to 13 years and features badges based on the Earth Charter’s principles for economic justice, human rights, respect for nature, participatory democracy and a culture of peace. Although I may be given credit as founder of Earth Scouts, it truly is the work of parents and community members around the country that share their ideas and experiences for the badge activities and field trips. 

I ended up teaching the Earth Scouts class at Academy Prep Tampa, an amazing middle school for low income students, so we could video it for our B roll for the Operation Bon Appétit Sizzle Tape—and because I have long wanted to create this ES economic justice badge. My friend, Susan Edwards—a wonderfully creative writer—and I had previously gotten together over food and wine (naturally) to spark ideas for the script that she ended up writing for our Operation Bon Appétit Sizzle Tape.  We wanted to capture on the Sizzle tape the creative energy and diversity of grassroots actions around the country.  We decided that exciting glimpses of subversive nuns, bright-eyed Earth Scouts and dancing village women in Zambia would do that.

Currently, we have the script for the Sizzle Tape, the funds for the shooting and editing and the B roll (the visuals that demonstrate the narrative) for the Earth Scouts and Zambia women highlights. Now we have to find a great looking kitchen for my co-host and I to use as we prepare the dish for the tape; get the B roll from the nuns in North Dakota who have the wind turbines; and find a terrific makeup artist that will make me look 30lbs lighter and at least 25 years younger.  Wish me luck!

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