first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card In addition, Organic Consumers said, a study showed that flower workers in Ecuador had been sickened from pesticide use. Cocoa industry groups said companies have been working since the 1990s to improve labor practices, incomes and education for farm families and environmental protections. “Our industry depends upon the well-being of millions of cocoa farmers around the world,” said Bill Guyton, president of the World Cocoa Foundation. Demand for all kinds of chocolate continues to grow, according to marketing information company ACNielsen. Sales of chocolate candy grew to $4.56 billion last year, an increase of about $39 million from one year earlier. Organic chocolate sales nearly doubled, rising from $3.2 million a year ago to $6.3 million at the end of 2005. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Taking a little sweetness out of Valentine’s Day, a consumer group says child labor and pesticides could be ingredients in those chocolates and flower bouquets. The Organic Consumers Association is urging a boycott of traditional Valentine’s gifts in favor of organic and fair-trade chocolate and flowers. “Most Americans have no idea what goes into these Valentine’s Day gifts,” said Ronnie Cummins, the group’s national director. The group noted that major cocoa suppliers, Nestle SA, Archer Daniels Midland Co., and Cargill Inc., are accused in a lawsuit of benefiting from child slave labor at cocoa bean plantations in Ivory Coast. last_img read more