Compilation Page

Chocolate Frogs

Year: 2010

Type: Fairtrade/Anti-Child Slavery Campaign

Organisers: Harry Potter Alliance, Walk Free

Target: Warner Bros

 

WB screenshot
Product Page (Warner Brothers, 2018)

Descriptions

The HPA’s 2013 campaign “Not in Harry’s Name” called for Warner Brothers to use fair trade chocolate in their Harry Potter candy. In 2010, the HPA asked Free2Work to conduct a study of Warner Brothers’ chocolate, and Warner Brothers received an F in the human rights category. After the HPA asked Warner Brothers about its human rights guidelines, Warner Brothers asserted that it had its own report that stated that it did not violate human rights with its chocolate. But Warner Brothers had refused to make the report public. The HPA’s “Not in Harry’s Name” campaign worked to get Warner Brothers to make their report public and to show proof that they use ethical sourcing practices in the making of their Harry Potter chocolate. The “Not in Harry’s Name” campaign consists of a website, a petition, a Huffington Post article by HPA executive director, Andrew Slack, and a series of YouTube videos made by Harry Potter fan community members as well as well-known vloggers. Ultimately, the campaign succeeded. On January 13, 2015, Warner Brothers announced that all Harry Potter chocolate would be fair trade (Hinck 2016, np link)

“When Hermione Granger discovers that the food at Hogwarts, chocolate included, is being made by house elves—essentially unpaid, indentured servants—she immediately starts a campaign to replace exploitation with fairness…In Harry Potter’s world, chocolate holds a unique place: it is a Muggle item with magical properties. Chocolate is featured prominently throughout the books as a powerful remedy for the chilling effects produced by contact with dementors, which are foul creatures that drain peace, hope and happiness from the world around them…It is doubtful that chocolate produced using questionable labor practices would have such positive effect, both in Harry’s world and ours. (Harry Potter Alliance 2010b, np link)

Harry Potter fans or fairtrade food activists? As it turns out, fans of the boy wizard are concerned about where their magical snacks come from. (Amey 2015, np link

Behr’s, the company that supplies Harry Potter Chocolates, received an “F” for human rights. The rating is based on an independent investigation by Free2Work, which tracks companies based on their supply chains. Behr’s scored just 1 point out of 48 possible measures whether their operations are slavery-free. (Bales and Small, 2014 np link)

Behind every luscious chocolate bar and treat we devour throughout the year, there are six million people globally who depend on growing cocoa for their livelihoods. (Galandzij 2016, np link)

It has been known for more than a decade that each year forced workers — many aged 16 and younger — return to harvest the cocoa beans that are processed into the chocolate products we love. (Bales and Small 2014, np link)

Well, unlike Willy Wonka, who protected his Oompa Loompa employees from the terrible Whangdoodles and Snozzwangers that kept them hungry and desperate, the executives at Nestle and Hershey seem pretty OK with their hard-working cocoa farmers living in desperate hunger. In fact, most of the chocolate industry doesn’t seem to lift much of a finger in the extreme cases where children are kidnapped from their families and enslaved, beaten, and forced to grow cocoa. Where are Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe when you need them? Or better yet, where are wizards like Harry Potter? (Slack 2011, np link)

“I just want to say, I didn’t even know about the child slave thing until I started looking into it after hearing about the Not In Harry’s Name campaign. I never actually had chocolate frogs but I stopped buying other chocolate brands that aren’t fair trade. A small impact but at least I know I’m not making things worse. Child slavery, well any slavery, is sickening and the fact that it is in Harry’s name makes it even worse. I hope the HP alliance can convince WB.” (LikeSoTotallyrandom 2012, np link)

The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), a group that “turns fans into heroes…by making activism accessible through the power of story [to work for] equality, human rights, and literacy” (“The Harry Potter Alliance: What We Do”) created the “Not in Harry’s Name” campaign to pressure Warner Brothers to investigate their sources and ensure that their Harry Potter chocolate products were Fair Trade certified. (aaas119x622 2016, np link)

“For more than four years, the Harry Potter Alliance and HP fans around the world worked to ensure that the official Harry Potter chocolate made by Warner Bros. was ethically sourced. In an unprecedented victory for fan activism, Warner Bros. has committed to switching to 100% UTZ or Fair Trade certified by the end of 2015.” (thehpalliance 2015, np link)

“UTZ certification shows consumers that products have been sourced, from farm to shop shelf, in a sustainable manner. To become certified, all UTZ suppliers have to follow our Code of Conduct, which offers expert guidance on better farming methods, working conditions and care for nature. This in turn leads to better production, a better environment and a better life for everyone.” (UTZ 2018, np link)

Fans are celebrating after winning a four-year battle to get Warner Bros. Entertainment to use only fairtrade certified chocolate in all Harry Potter-branded chocolate. This includes the chocolate frogs that are sold at Universal Orlando’s theme park in Florida, as well as the Shock-O-Choc and HoneyDukes Chocolate Bars. (Amey 2015, np link)

Inspiration / Process / Technique / Methodology     

“In their [Warner Bros.] arrogance, by ignoring us, they are not realizing the power they are about to awaken. Because Harry Potter fans are not going to walk away without ensuring that Harry’s name is being used for the liberation and not exploitation of children. The longer Warner Bros. ignores us, the more they will realize that while they thought they were sacrificing what is right for what is easy, they actually were sacrificing what is right for what is hard.” (@thehpalliance, 2012 np link)

The HPA partnered with Free2Work, who determined that the chocolate products had earned an “F” grade for worker conditions that violated human rights. These findings inspired action from hundreds of thousands of fans, from signing petitions to sending letters. The campaign continued for years, with ongoing discussions taking place and contributions from J.K. Rowling, anti-slavery organization Walk Free, and prominent YouTubers (HPA 2015, np link)

“When Warner Bros took time to follow up on the report, the Harry Potter Alliance started organising members in conjunction with another anti-slavery group, Walk Free, to petition the company to be open about its findings and to record videos called Howlers (borrowed from the magical scoldings in Rowling’s books), shaming the company for its pace.” (Rosenberg 2015, np link)

“The hands on the clock may face mortal peril for Warner Brothers if they don’t act fast. 34 days are left… It’s time to act!

Not in Harry’s Name has three ways for you to show Warner Brothers that we’re not going to just sit here while they tarnish Harry Potter’s good name with their unethical methods for making their chocolate they brand with his name!

How can you help? Three simple ways!

Channel your inner Molly Weasley and send a MuggleHowler to Warner Brothers letting them know just how disgusted you are!

HPA1
Muggle Howler (@thehpalliance, 2011)

Send a Cease and Desist letter!

HPA2
Cease and Desist Letter (@thehpalliance, 2011)

and finally!… We made organic and Fair Trade Chocolate Frogs to show Warner Brothers that it can be done and for a reasonable price! Head on over to the HPA shop to buy your own Chocolate Frogs!”

HPA3
Fair Trade Chocolate Frogs (@thehpalliance, 2011)

(@thehpalliance 2011, np link)

“I just bought my Fair Trade chocolate frogs!  Be sure to buy yours!” (@onlyahalfblood 2011, np link)

“Featured Howler! The second featured Howler of the week was from StarKidSev. She wants to know why it’s so hard for WB, such a large, profiting, and powerful company, to change their practices to make their chocolate fair trade.
What do you guys think?  Why do you think WB is being so stubborn?” (@thehpalliance 2011, np link)

greed, greed, greed (@itwillshine 2011, in @thehpalliance 2011, np link)

I don’t think they have much of a reason to be stubborn. This is important!) (@fizwhizbee-blog, in @thehpalliance 2011, np link)

“The HPA even started marketing and selling their own Fair Trade Chocolate Frogs” (Mary 2015, np link)

“Rather than seeing the licensed candies as mere commodities, the HPA evaluates them according to their meaningfulness in the content world and then links their “magical” powers to the ethics of how they are produced and sold: “As consumers of Harry Potter products, we are interested in supporting and purchasing products that are true to the spirit of the Harry Potter franchise.” Throughout its campaign, the HPA holds open the prospect of a meaningful collaboration with corporate interests, but it also pledges to use boycotts and buycotts against the studio and its subcontractors.” (Jenkins 2012, np link)

“Encouraging fans to write letters and sign a petition, the campaign began with a flash mob in New York City the night of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ (HPA 2015, np link)

In a 400,000-strong petition to Warner Bros., which own all rights to the Harry Potter franchise, which includes products and merchandise, the HPA argued that Harry’s fans didn’t think that the fictional wizard would approve of unethically produced chocolate. (Amey 2015, np link)

Thousands of fans sent complaint letters over the years and in 2013, the HPA took yet another step forward when they teamed up with Walk Free, an anti-slavery movement, to pressure Warner Bros. even further. (Amey 2015, np link)

‘In 2013 we partnered with Walk Free, an organisation dedicated to ending all modern slavery.’ (HPA 2015, np link)

‘It wasn’t really a stretch at all,” Olly Buston, the movement director for Walk Free, wrote in an email. “Harry Potter fans have spoken up and said they are opposed to modern slavery. So of course we want to work with them.” (Buston in Rosenberg 2015, np link)

‘Walk Free even had a plan to loft a Dark Mark (a sign of Voldemort’s followers) over Warner Bros.’ studio facilities.’ (Rosenberg 2015, np link)

In 2014, J.K. Rowling also joined the cause. (Amey 2015, np link)

Meeting between Warner Bros, Andrew Slack (and others?), in which petition wit over 400,000 signatures handed over (Rosenberg 2015, np link).

Discussion / Responses

It sort of sucks that chocolate being sold in Harry’s name is not fair trade. (Slack 2011, np link)

“SAVE THE CHOCOLATE!!! by saving the chocolate farmers. sweet reward for doing something beneficial to the world. Go HP alliance!!” (Emily Wilburn 2011, np link)

“A few months ago, when my parents told me we were going to go to Orlando this summer, I was so excited to buy some chocolate frogs in Orlando. Then, I watched Alex Carpenter’s vid on this, and now if my parents try to buy me some, I am going to tell them about this!” (Abby Tracy 2013, np link)

Gosh that’s so discusting!! I am goning to visit the wizarding world of hp in two weeks and actually I really wanted to buy some chocolate frogs but now… shame on you wb! That’s not what HP and JK stand for!! (Schnattchen93 2013, np link)

“Amazing video that sent an important message. I have high hopes the HPA will have great success with this campaign” (Delaney Canfield 2012, np link)

‘OMG WHY AM I CRYING???!!!’ (Villanueva 2015, np link)

‘That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ (Ducker 2015, np link)

“I wholeheartedly agree! Extremely well said! 🙂 My mum and I have already signed the petition and I refuse to buy chocolate unless it’s %100 certified fair trade. And even then some aren’t %100 so I don’t buy it.” (Galexy 2013, np link)

“This is fantastic! Yes, sometimes children need to support themselves/their families, but if Warner Brothers DOES in fact have child laborers, that need and fair treatment should be included in the report. The fact that this report is not being shown means that there is definitely something wrong. “Corporate accountability does not have to be an oxymoron” (loopylupin1120 2013, np link)

“I just want to say, I didn’t even know about the child slave thing until I started looking into it after hearing about the Not In Harry’s Name campaign. I never actually had chocolate frogs but I stopped buying other chocolate brands that aren’t fair trade. A small impact but at least I know I’m not making things worse. Child slavery, well any slavery, is sickening and the fact that it is in Harry’s name makes it even worse. I hope the HP alliance can convince WB.” (LikeSoTotallyrandom 2012, np link)

“Child Slave Chocolate. You can taste the forced labor in every tear stained bite.” (Xavier 2013, np link)

“Sadly, not all fair trade chocolate is guaranteed slave-trade free. Check out the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate. I think we need to demand more from our Fair Trade chocolate, too.” (Jill from the Prairies 2011, np link)

“you selfish little shit, so you obviously missed out on an education if you think child labour is ok, that’s because you were working in the fields when you should have been in school. this is a perfect example of how child labour is bad” (Mcpartridgeboy 2013, np link)

‘like who gives a shit about the kind of person the guy who grew the cacao was’ (Gonzalez  2015, np link)

“I want fair trade frogs! Where do I buy my frogs??” (WhoddaWhaddu 2013, np link)

“I think it’s not fair to put chocolate and books about hp on same level. First is useful and those books are just a bunch of shitty mess.” (id15yes2 2017, np link)

“This product is only available for sale in the US. Brb crying about it.” ( @medievalruins 2011, np link)

‘Thank you for all your hard work in the campaign! :)’ (Potterarchy 2015, np link)

‘This is great. It honestly gives me warm fuzzies at how much good work Harry Potter fans do.’ (Alittlepunchy, in Potterarchy 2015, np link)

‘I really like this. It warms the cockles of my cold, dead heart.’ (Redkiteflying, in Potterarchy 2015, link)

‘I believe that Harry Potter is about doing what is right, not what is easy.’ (Hannah Froemning, in Frechette 2011, link).

‘Harry Potter fights for a better world, and unfair-trade chocolate is the opposite of that. So warner: just use fair trade: for a better world’ (Martina Borgschulze, in Frechette 2011, np link)

“At times, Kevin’s political views clashed with others in his local HPA chapter. For example, he was not a supporter of the HPA campaign to pressure Warner Brothers to make their chocolate Fair Trade. He advocated for a free market approach instead: “There is this old joke that goes, if Republicans don’t like guns, they don’t buy them. If Democrats don’t like guns they try and ban it, and that goes for — you could insert anything in there. […] If Warner Brothers doesn’t want to use Fair Trade chocolate and you don’t agree with that, don’t buy their stuff (Kevin, 27, HPA).” (Kligler Vilenchik 2013,  np link)

“What even is going on?” (@thecassquatch 2011, np link)

“I’m a terrible person. My first reaction was “oh so THAT’S why it’s so expensive”. (GuyWhoMincesCatsForAsda 2016, np link)

‘This is really the bullshit that people waste their time doing…. volunteer at a foodbank/clothes bank or something actually helpful. Smh….’ (Baruska 2015, np link)

“This is something that has bothered me about this campaign, too. I’ve been right there for all of it, signing every petition, making a howler, mailing pages of the petition to WB, but it seems a) unlikely that WB will care about some people complaining, especially when they aren’t losing business, and b) it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference if they did lose our business, and c) even if they do go fair trade, since they aren’t a major chocolate distributor, it won’t make much change anyway.” (13Vanessamae 2013, np link)

“Books change lives, and not just for the people who read them.” (@Found In The Vault 2015, np link)

“Who is going to solve this problem? Harry Potter fans! Of course we are 😀  Harry Potter fans ftw! The Weapon we have is Love!” (SingularityStar 2011, np link)

“Also, I know it’s not HP related, but do you think we should maybe consider tying Apple into this campaign? The news we’ve heard recently about the working conditions for people overseas who make our iPhones (and the like) is shocking, and the company’s lack of response has been appalling at best. As a very fervent Apple customer, It was a rather disturbing wake-up call.” (JP 2012, np link)

‘Now we need to talk about fairtrade sugar!!’ (Nasya 2015, np link)

Impacts / Outcomes

“When Warner Bros. announced that these chocolates would be UTZ or Fair Trade certified by the end of 2015, it demonstrated how immensely powerful a group of voices can be.” (Sarah George in Watt 2015, link)

A partnership with Walk Free that engaged over 400,000 fans and resulted in Warner Bros. changing the sourcing of their Harry Potter chocolate to be 100% UTZ or Fairtrade. (HPA 2015, np link)

According to an article in January 2015 in the Daily Telegraph after a long four year battle between Potter fans and the Warner Bros Franchise Dept, changes were promised. (Marie 2016, np link)

‘Just before the end of the year, Warner Bros. gave Harry Potter fans the best Christmas present ever (even better than an invisibility cloak)’  (HPA 2015, np link)

‘We won a campaign to make sure chocolate for Harry Potter branded candy is fair trade. Meaning….the company pays the workers a fair wage for their work harvesting the chocolate, rather than slavery.’ (Lewis 2015, np link)

‘This is SO exciting! I mean, sure, there are more important issues, but this really is a HUGE victory! yay! :D’ (GinnyWeasley002 2015, np link)

“I remember when this started, years ago. I’m so impressed and happy that it is actual reality now!” (@small simplicity 2015, np link)

“We did it!! This is amazing. Just think if fans can tell a HUGE company that they will not support their ways of making chocolate just think about what else we can do to change the world. Congrats to the HPA and the Harry Potter fans around the world we did it!” (Victoria LoCicero 2015, np link)

“I can confirm that J.K. Rowling is delighted that Warner Bros. and Universal are taking positive steps to source only certified cocoa for Harry Potter chocolate.” (Hutchinson, M in Mary 2015, np link)

“Let’s never forget that a group of dedicated, passionate people CAN accomplish something. It might seem small, and it may have taken a few years, but justice is worth the time and effort.” (@linelei 2015, np link)

‘it’s a fascinating symbol of what activism might look like when it’s animated by fiction rather than political parties and when fans form coalitions with devoted advocates.’ (Rosenberg 2015, np link)

‘While this single change is not likely to change the lives of many cocoa farmers directly (“Harry Potter chocolate is not a huge market,” Bird admitted), Bird said that small victories can pave the way to larger ones.’ (Finke 2015, np link)

“This is still a very cool thing that we did.” (@bessthekraken 2015, np link)

‘Warner Bros. “can’t ignore the concerns of a key stakeholder group” the way the company might have been able to brush off an outside advocacy organization’ (Rosenberg 2015, np link)

“They succeeded in getting Warner Brothers to declare that all Harry Potter chocolate products would be Utz or Fair Trade certified by the end of 2015, which has been lauded as a great success by the consumers and fans” (aaas119x622 2016, np link)

“The President and Managing Director of UK Warner Bros assured the media that all Potter chocolate will be either UTZ or fair-trade sourced by the end of 2015” (Marie 2016, np link)

“UTZ certification shows consumers that products have been sourced, from farm to shop shelf, in a sustainable manner. To become certified, all UTZ suppliers have to follow our Code of Conduct, which offers expert guidance on better farming methods, working conditions and care for nature. This in turn leads to better production, a better environment and a better life for everyone.” (UTZ 2018, np link )

“Now the next thing I guess is wait for them to have actually made the change (and be able to show that they did) The wording in the letter does make it sound like only the Harry Potter chocolates sold by them will be holding up to this standard, so that’s something to look into as well” (Luchtmeijer 2015, np link)

“I am not sure however if this has actually happened, because as you can see from the images of this Warner Bros product there is unfortunately no visible sustainable quality mark on the product.” (Marie 2016, np link)

“There is nothing from either the Rainforest Alliance (which you would have thought would have been an obvious choice since it has a green frog logo), UTZ or Fairtrade”(Marie 2016, np link)

“There is also no mention of any formal press release about switching to sustainable chocolate on the Warner Bros website” (Marie 2016, np link)

“In order to promote sustainable farming, UTZ has developed two standards: the Code of Conduct (Code) and the Chain of Custody Standard (ChoC)” (UTZ 2015, 9 link)

“All Harry Potter chocolate products sold at Warner Bros. outlets are either UTZ or Fairtrade certified.  The chocolate frogs sold at Studio Tour are UTZ certified – the UTZ logo is printed on the underside packaging.  In order to become certified, all UTZ cocoa suppliers have to follow a code of conduct, which covers both working conditions and care for nature.  You can find out more about UTZ here: https://utz.org/.” (Pers. Comms. With David Kendal – Exec Director of Commercial department at Warner Bros, 19/10/18, see below…)

“Warner Bros. listened to our supporters and dramatically changed how they do things. Now, consumers can enjoy Harry Potter chocolate frogs knowing that the cocoa used is Utz certified. This is just one example of how change can happen. Partners give information and direction. Freedom United rallies supporters to raise awareness and show support. Businesses listen and step up their efforts. Together, we decide “to do what is right, instead of what is easy.” And we all move one step closer to a world without slavery.” (Freedom United 2018, np. link)

“Because you cannot legally print UTZ or Fair Trade labelling on a product without sourcing from UTZ or Fair Trade suppliers, we have every reason to trust that Warner Bros is maintaining their agreement. All Harry Potter chocolates are still being labelled in this manner, and while we don’t have the names of specific suppliers, we did revisit this a few months ago, and things were on track!” (Pers. Comms. With Katie – Harry Potter Alliance, 22/10/18, see below…)

“However, this should not turn to complacency, as there are still problems with Fair Trade certification and therefore the so-called “victory” may not be as thorough as hoped, and furthermore working to eliminate unethically sourced chocolate in Harry’s name alone does not account for the vast amount of chocolate produced via forced/child labor that still circulates in the rest of the industry” (aaas119x622 2016, np link)

“Unlike Fairtrade, UTZ Certified doesn’t specify a minimum price for Coffee, and as such Farmers are subject to the volatility of the market. While they claim protection of the environment, UTZ Certified farmers are allowed to use pesticides as long as they are allowed to be used in the major markets (US, Europe and Japan), and that they are applied according to the directions on the label. Another criticism is that UTZ Certified requires workers to be paid in line with national laws – it doesn’t take into consideration if the national laws set the minimum wage too low” (Clapton 2013, np link)

“UTZ is *bad* and distracts us from real solutions. Even wikipedia knows that. PLEASE consider changing your article, since Deatheaters are MISLEADING the naive wannabe Harry Potter fans. Will they respond by dismantling the lie and the company and UTZ?”(Schneider 2015, np link)

“John Lewis Stock Number 77091702. This product supports responsible cocoa farming UTZ” (John Lewis 2018, 1 link)

References

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One thought on “Compilation Page

  1. Comments: this is a detailed and nicely referenced compilation page, that digs into the relationships between a unique fan-activism group – the HPA – and a corporate beast – Warner Brothers – over the certification of its chocolates in the world of Harry Potter vs the ‘real world’. The dynamic is fascinating and the personal communications from the HP and Warner were wonderful. There’s a great sense of finding out what actually happened, were promises fulfilled, which makes the final ‘impacts/outcomes’ section particularly interesting to read. It’s all about the certification. Why Warners says Fair Trade and UTZ and then seems only to do UTZ, which is then questionable as Fair Trade is really interesting. The first three sections could have done with some extra editing to get the quotes in the right place, to reduce the repetition and – most importantly – to get the quotes in the right order to make the page read like a conversation rather than a collection of quotations. Quite a bit of work would be needed to get this ready for publication on the followthethings.com website, but it’s such a good example… One difficult is how to make this understandable to people who haven’t read the books or seen the films? Did you transcribe some Howlers, for example?

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