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Thursday Zoom Panel On Supreme Court Ruling Will Include Springfield Chocolatier

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A Springfield chocolatier will be part of a virtual panel Thursday discussing a Supreme Court ruling on the issue of child slavery and big cocoa companies. 

Springfield-based Askinosie Chocolate was one of 18 smaller chocolate companies that filed an amicus brief in the case, supporting the six citizens of Mali who said they were kidnapped as children and forced to work on Ivory Coast cocoa farms linked to Nestle and Cargill. 

The Supreme Court ruled last week that Cargill and Nestle could not be sued because the alleged conduct did not take place on U.S. soil. 

Shawn Askinosie, founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, will be on the Zoom panel discussing the case Thursday. 

Askinosie told KSMU the ruling gives American corporations the green light to violate human rights overseas to drive production costs down. 

"When you go fill your car up with gas, and you're at the cash register, you're gonna find a really big chocolate bar that's a whole lot less than mine," Askinosie said. "My chocolate bar is 3 ounces, 85 grams, and it's going to cost maybe $10. But the one at the cash register is going to cost $1.50 or $2. I wonder why? The reason is because they're able, now with license, to have child slave labor and forced labor in their supply chain."

Askinosie Chocolate is an industry leader in Direct Trade practices, in which the company knows the farmers personally.  You can learn more about the origins, ethics, and tracing of Askinosie Chocolate here:  https://askinosie.com/pages/direct-trade

The panel will be held on June 24th at noon. You can register for the event here.