The world is devouring more chocolate than cocoa farmers are able to harvest. This is according to some of the world's largest chocolate producers.
According to Time, in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where a whopping 70% of the world's cocoa is farmed, conditions have not been ideal. Cocoa plantations have suffered from drought, and a substantial percentage of production has been countered by fungal disease.
Many West African cocoa farmers don't even enjoy the luxury of chocolate for their labour. This video has been doing the rounds: an Ivory Coast cocoa farmer tastes chocolate for the first time.
The price of chocolate
Our ravenous appetite for chocolate is ever-rising and China isn't helping. Chocolate snobs aren't making things any easier; the darker the chocolate, the higher the proportion of cocoa. Now you know who to thank when the price of chocolate goes up.
Like other mass-produced commodities, efforts are underway to make chocolate even cheaper and more abundant than it already is. The Washington Post reports that trees producing seven times more cocoa beans than usual are evolving thanks to an agricultural research group in Central Africa. As expected, such a trade-off may compromise taste.
For anyone on a diet, this may be good news, but otherwise, you can help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and promote sustainability by supporting fair trade.
We won't point fingers if you choose to be part of the problem. Our Chocolate hub is full of chocolatey goodness. Who can resist indulgent dark chocolate truffles or double chocolate chip cookies? Not us!
If you stocked up on your favourites, how long would the stash last?
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