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Corporate Environmental Responsibility: A Case on ITC Limited

Case Title:

Ethical chocolates- A "bittersweet" dilemma

Publication Month and Year : 2010

Authors: B Gopal, A Karunakaran and C Chatterjee

Industry: Food, Agriculture and DIary


Case Code: CSR0066IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available


On 19 September 2001, the global chocolate industry adopted the famous Harkin-Angel protocol, which envisages the adoption of fair labour practices in the cocoa industry by 1 July 2008. The most important fair labour practices laid down by this protocol are: the abolition of child labour and slavery in cocoa farms, and a fair price for cocoa at the farm gates. Since the chocolate industry is past the deadline to implement the Harkin-Engel protocol it is time to take stock of the situation. Implementation of this protocol in its true meaning would result in a loss of profits for the chocolate industry. With the growing popularity of ethical chocolates in the European and US markets, the industry is unable to decide whether to shift the predicted losses towards its consumers. In this scenario, many industry giants have expressed their willingness to go ethical to regain popularity. But a solution for this dilemma is still far away. It remains to be seen whether the industry will go ethical at the cost of profits, or will the end consumer finally foot the bill?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the global chocolate industry and its dynamics.
  • To analyse the challenges to the industry giants from 'ethical chocolates'.
  • To explain the intensity of the problem of child labour, exploitation and slavery in the African cocoa farms.
  • To analyse whether the chocolate industry can reach a feasible solution to this problem by the implementation of the Harkin-Engel protocol.

Keywords :  Global chocolate industry, Cocoa sourcing, Fair trade chocolates, Business ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Harkin-Engel protocol, Slavery, Child labour, Ivory Coast, African nations, Cocoa farms, Ethical dilemma, Chocolate giants, Developed nations, Developing nations


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Case Study :
   INR 200 = USD ($)

Structured Assignment:
   INR 150 = USD ($)

Teaching Note :
   INR 400 = USD ($)


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