'Chocolate Nations is a fascinating account of the struggles of cocoa producers in West Africa, almost all of them smallholders, and what it takes to turn a crop of cocoa into a warehouse full of Ferrero Rocher.'
Jeremy Harding, The Guardian
'A courageous and thoughtful account of a murky industry.'
Times Literary Supplement
'That Mmmmoment when our lips meet the meltilicious chocolate bar we've been waiting for all day ... well, it could be the last bite we take of it that tastes right after reading this exposé of the cocoa industry. "Fair trade" is a great feelgood advertising line, but it is often a contradiction in terms. Not much profit trickles down from the shelves of our shops to the farmers and child labour (in reality, trafficked or slave labour, Ryan says) of Ghana and Ivory Coast whose poverty is covered up by weasel words from trade associations and financial interests glibly defending exploitation and profiteering.'
Iain Finlayson, Times
'Arresting and provocative. The author's interviews with labourers movingly illuminate the struggles that lie behind an icon of western indulgence.'
'Ryan ably discusses such issues as child labour on cocoa farms and the debates around free trade.'
Nicolas Van de Walle, Foreign Affairs
'Paints a disturbing and subtle picture of an industry few chocolate consumers think about.'
Sydney Morning Herald
'Wonderfully engaging. The books real insight is the fruit of the time she spent in the worlds cocoa heartlands'
Dublin Review of books
'Presents the tragic and shocking detail behind the world's favourite confectionery.'
'Orla's Chocolate Nations is a captivating read, painting a lively picture of the West African cocoa trade from a variety of perspectives. It casts a critical eye over the role played by governments and multinationals, while also putting fair trade and child slavery campaigns in perspective. It gives us all a good deal more to think about when we eat "the food of the gods".'
Daniel Balint Kurti at Global Witness
'I gave up eating chocolate years ago after seeing at first hand the exploitation that surrounds its production in Africa. Since then, endless panaceas and fair trading schemes have failed to improve the lot of the farmers. It was about time a book like this was written.'
Stephen Chan OBE, author of The End of Certainty