I think chocolates truly unite the world. Some countries savour it in the natural form of cocoa, while some countries turn the same ingredient into a sophisticated art form. Whatever be the case, cacao is a controversial ingredient.
In many parts of the world, chocolate has been consumed on a regular basis while in many others chocolate is a new trend. This is increasing the demand for cacao beans and the production needs to be multiplied by many folds. But the reality is that the global production of cacao beans in depleting because of climate change, the age of cacao trees, pests, land degradation, labour shortage and instability in the political climate of many developing countries where cacao is grown. (Guest, 2012)
The production of cacao beans is also depleting by the years because, although chocolate is considered a luxury product, the farmers who grow cacao get around 7% the amount that is paid for any chocolate bar. The rest 93% goes to the huge companies that manufacture and market those chocolates. A large number of farmers are moving to different crops which fetch them more money in the market. (Guest, 2012)
While organizations like Fairtrade International are working relentlessly to ensure that farmers get the right value for their cacao, the events like Mondelez International UK deciding to go their own way, raise suspicion. Mondelez International UK decided to start their own program called ‘cocoa life’ which they claim is similar to that of Fairtrade International. But people were not happy with this change. The fear is that all private companies would start following this method which will benefit them and they might hide the truth from the public. (Doherty, 2016)
This shows that the production of cacao has a number of issues on various level. The world chocolate consumption is increasing and there would be an acute shortage of cocoa by 2020 if the current production does not increase by 25% or 1 million tonnes annually. (Doherty, 2016)
I have attached pictures of chocolates from different countries that I learnt about in class. Each country faces some problem in terms of cocoa farms, chocolate production, export, import, manufacturing or distributing.
- Doherty, B. (2016, December 05). It’s not a very merry Christmas for Fairtrade chocolate. Retrieved from The conversation: https://theconversation.com/its-not-a-very-merry-christmas-for-fairtrade-chocolate-69761
- Guest, D. (2012, April 05). Bitter-sweet easter: how our demand is melting sustainable cocoa farming. Retrieved from The conversation: http://theconversation.com/bitter-sweet-easter-how-our-demand-is-melting-sustainable-cocoa-farming-6264