Inside Ivory Coast

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Updated: Aug 04, 2021
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In Timmerman’s story, during his time in Africa, he encountered many tough situations. The stories range from modern day slavery to unfair pay to cocoa farmers. All these things play a major role in today because in the United States people do not pay attention to what goes on in other countries. People in Africa produce cocoa, which is in chocolate sold in America. People in America do not realize the effort it goes into growing the cocoa or what people grow the product. Some of the interest in this story was the use of child labor, the story of Solo, and the story of Michael.

Child labor stood out because people today in America do not think about modern day slavery. Over half of the children in Africa are currently working on Ivory Coast (Timmerman, 2014). Those children work on these farms forcefully because they are promised money but at the end of their working period the children do not even get paid. These children and both boys and girls with ages ranging from 10 years old up to 15 years old. These children are being trafficked as well. It becomes an eye opener because the chocolate that people eat in America and in other places come from these farms where the children are being forced to work on. Timmerman explains that he would have considered himself a slave because he also worked on a farm for his parents (2014). This comes to a shock because he compared himself to actual slavery and these children must go through harsh times.

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Another interesting point in Timmerman’s story is the life of Solo. Solo’s story is interesting because he is the first slave Timmerman meets. Solo was taken from his family because like other slaves, he was promised to receive money. He was promised he would receive $300 at the end of his work time (Timmerman, 2014). The $300 was only for one year. This is shocking because people in America do not suffer like people in Ivory Coast and Solo happened to be one of the people who was suffering. The cocoa plantations are mostly people and children to make money to support their family and Solo was doing this to go back home with money.

One more interesting story is about Michael. Michael is a farmer to his own plantation. Michal is struggling to provide for his family and does not understand how Timmerman is able to help him (Timmerman, 2014). Michael will eventually not have enough money to pay for his children’s education and his children will eventually have to work on the farm as well. His main struggle is providing for his children. He wants what is best for his children.

Overall, consumers should pay attention or may be even research where certain products come from. People can become more informed about the people who produce the products. People can also learn about what struggles people face in other countries. Child labor, Solo’s story, and Michael’s story are all eye openers to the people around the world.


  1. Timmerman, K. (2014). Where am I eating?: An adventure through the global food economy. Place of publication not identified: John Wiley.”
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Inside Ivory Coast. (2021, Aug 04). Retrieved from