Thursday, November 27, 2014

THE GREAT CHOCOLATE SHORTAGE... A Lesson in Sustainability and Economic Piracy

THE WORLD WILL END IN 2020, at least for chocoholics like myself.

News about the impending chocolate shortage in 6 years time is killing me but instead of taking it lying down, wallowing in misery, I called to my inner Willie Wonka and began tap, tapping away at my  keyboards. Here is what I discovered:

The first warnings of a chocolate shortage as heard from Mars, not the planet but the makers of the chewy chocolate-covered nougat bar, as reported by in June 2011.

Recently, more alarming news has been surging online like a river of hot molten cocoa.
Click on the photo to get linked to the full article.

Click on the photo to get linked to the full article.
People are horrified! The hysteria's been overwhelming, even Stephen Colbert dipped into the issue.
Click on the photo to get linked to the full article.
But before you jump into conclusion that this is like a nightmare where a horde of Dementors from the Harry Potter series come knocking at your door, here's more information that will increase your serotonin levels.

Did you know that most of the cocoa used for your chocolate does not come from the Mayan jungles but from Africa? Most (70%) comes from the Ivory Coast, a former French colony of 24 Million people? I honestly did not.
The same report says  that, "unlike large industrial crops, 80% -90% of cocoa comes from small, family-run farms." Out of the 6 billion possible consumers of chocolate around the world, there are only five to six million cocoa farmers. Cocoa trees grow only in tropical environment and its harvest is easily affected by changing weather.

So is climate change mainly to blame?

Not so, says Tim Worstall, a contributor at Forbes magazine.

He says politics and price fixing is also a major factor. "The raw material, cocoa, is not responding to market prices because the government in the largest producer of the stuff is deliberately stopping market forces from working."

And at is saying that alarmists have blown the first reports way out of proportion. "Articles circulating on social media cite 2013 chocolate market trend reports; but in those, much of the focus was on increased consumption in regions like China and their impact on the global chocolate supply."

Yes, supply will be shorter and it will be more expensive but there will still be chocolate.

The farmers who produce it will not get any richer, the governments and middlemen richer and the public will be left craving for more.

The question on my mind right now is, "can we produce our own cacao?"

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