Photo: Nestlé (flickr)
Chocolate lovers will soon face a crisis because their beloved treat could become very rare (and pricey).
Why such an increase in price? Well, chocolate is made up of cocoa and the price of cocoa has been going up in international markets. Dark chocolate, which uses more cocoa, has, in particular, affected this increase.
Fair Trade Prices
Another reason for the price increase is the awareness of unfair trade and environmental issues that result in supply not keeping up with demand.
Cocoa production mainly occurs in West Africa. However, farmers there are not seeing their profits return to the farms and that is one of the main reasons for the shortage. Some farmers report earning less than $1 a day and that is not enough to cover their own costs of production.
One possible solution to this crisis is to offer farmers fair trade prices for their chocolate. This solution helps farmers stay on their land and keep up with the demand.
Environmental Issues And Chocolate
The environment is playing a key role in the decrease of chocolate production worldwide. Cocoa trees are originally from rainforests of North and South America. The trees love shady areas in diverse forests and, when happy, they live for up to a century.
Modern farming techniques place the trees in full sun. The trees only live to be 30 years old or less in these conditions. The land quickly loses it’s fertility and farming ability. The trees begin to die and farmers must find new areas of forest to plant.
The Future And Solutions
Pushing more companies and supplies to value fair trade would help avert the crisis. Farmers are struggling and if they are not paid adequately, they will have to change the way they grow cocoa. This solution helps farmers stay on their land and keep up with the demand.
- Chocolate Supply Threatened by Cocoa Crisis (Discovery News)
- Chocolate Will Be As Expensive As Caviar (The Atlantic Wire)