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Ethics in Business: Child Labor in Chocolate Industry

Business organizations are required to act ethically if they have to meet the demands of all stakeholders. Unfortunately, some companies will pursue specific malpractices in an attempt to maximize profits. This paper describes a newspaper paper that discusses an unethical business practice and how the affected companies can improve its operations.

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Selected Article and Unethical Practices

This is the selected newspaper article for this discussion: “Chocolate Industry Accused of Failure on Child Labor” by Emiko Terazono. The unethical practice described in this document is the decision to promote or permit organizational abuse. The report reveals that some leading companies in the chocolate industry were acquiring cocoa produced through improper procedures, including the use of child labor, poor wages, and failure to conserve the natural environment.

The author revealed that the number of underage individuals working in different plantations had increased significantly within the past four years (Terazono, 2018). Some of the companies involved in this form of abuse include Mars and Barry Callebaut. Despite such issues, the leaders of these organizations have been keen to indicate that all stakeholders should collaborate if positive results are to be recorded.

Unethical practices are inappropriate since they affect performance and discourage many customers from doing business with the affected companies. The challenges facing the identified corporations require evidence-based strategies or changes to change the situation. Firstly, the companies should introduce superior guidelines informed by the requirements of different stakeholders and ensure that suppliers from Africa and other parts of the world take them seriously. This means that the targeted business partners will avoid the use of child or cheap labor and consider superior measures to protect the natural environment (McGee, 2017). This effort will transform the business models of such companies and make it easier for them to deliver desirable finished products to their customers.

Secondly, Terazono (2018) indicates that the issues described in the article are common in different sectors and affect many corporations. The identified organizations can consider the importance of starting their own plantations and managing them in accordance with the established business procedures. They will employ competent individuals who are mature and pay them competitively. This strategy will ensure that the issue of child labor does not affect or disorient performance. This proposal will eventually make the affected companies admirable to different customers.

Policy Change and Utilitarianism

The concept of utilitarianism guides corporations to focus on the most appropriate ideas or actions that have the potential to maximize happiness for different stakeholders. The above suggestions have the potential to tackle the problems of environmental degradation and child labor. If such companies embrace such policy changes, chances are high that the diverse needs of government agencies, customers, and farmers will be met. More children will no longer have to provide cheap or forced labor in different plantations. These developments will eventually maximize happiness for different stakeholders and make it easier for them to pursue their objectives (McGee, 2017). The corporations can go further to consider other areas or malpractices that affect their ethical positions and address them using this concept of utilitarianism.


The above discussion has identified ethics as a critical topic for business organizations. The identified corporations have been collaborating with suppliers engaging in inappropriate behaviors. The proposed solutions resonate with the concept of utilitarianism and can ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are fulfilled, thereby making the selected companies successful.

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McGee, R. W. (2017). Abolishing child labor: Some overlooked ethical issues. Journal of Insurance and Financial Management, 2(3), 153-161.

Terazono, E. (2018). Chocolate industry accused of failure on child labour. Financial Times. Web.

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