Harry Potter fans say 'expulso' to slavery chocolate

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Jan 14, 2015, 4:29 PM EST (Updated)

Fan campaigns don't exist merely to save television shows. The 501st Legion and Browncoats across America frequently perform charity work, while Supernatural's wiki has a page of charity projects for fans to contribute to. But while the work of these fanbases is more than commendable, the Harry Potter Alliance may have just trumped them all. 

The Harry Potter Alliance, who embrace Harry's ethos of kindness and unselfishness, have challenged Universal Studios to commit "to new standards for cocoa production," as the Washington Post reports. Now all Harry Potter-branded chocolates sold through Warner Bros., including Universal Orlando Resort's famed Diagon Alley, will be certified fair trade.

According to the Post, the Harry Potter Alliance, co-founded by Andrew Slack, had made videos and held a book drive to aid social reform. But the group took up the chocolate cause after learning that chocolate was frequently produced by African child slaves. When the Alliance learned that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter's chocolate supplier could not verify its anti-slaverly practices, Slack and his team of wizards went to work.

It took four years of active campaigning, but Warner Bros., which owns Harry Potter's merchandising rights, changed its chocolate to a freedom-friendly variety. 

Slack said,

“If ‘Harry Potter’ [as a franchise] were to be in alignment with the values of Harry Potter [himself], it could be a real symbolic and coherent victory,” Slack said. ” ‘Harry Potter,’ more and more, is becoming a classic, and one that children are growing up on, with all seven books having been written. It’s part of the culture. It represents righteousness, nobility, love, so much beauty and a place of safety that people go to, and moral authority. If the ‘Harry Potter’ brand were to move something like fair trade, it would be making a statement that not only is the ‘Harry Potter’ brand a cut above the rest but that [other franchises] have to catch up to it.”

Take that, forces of darkness! 

Got a fan-based charity you want to brag about? Let us know in the comments.

Via WashPo.