Affordable Chocolate ‘could run out in 20 years’
November 8, 2010 1 Comment
The UK’s Independent reports cocoa farming may not be able to keep up with our love of chocolate as industry experts predict farmers in West Africa will give up their cocoa crops. This could have devastating consequences for chocoholics, says director of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council, John Mason.
“In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it,” Mr Mason told The Independent.
The minimal rewards for the time-consuming work of growing cocoa coupled with the increasing demand for biofuel crops like palm oil means that for many farmers, it’s simply not worth their while. And despite prices of the sweet treat doubling in just six years, little is passed on to the smallholders who earn just 80 cents per day.
But as supply drops off, millions of new consumers are lining up for their chocolate fix.
“Chocolate consumption is increasing faster than cocoa production – and it’s not sustainable,” Tony Lass, chairman of the Cocoa Research Association, told the annual conference of Britain’s Academy of Chocolate.
London chocolatier Marc Demarquette says it could mean the end of the cheap vending machine chocolate bar but that consumers may be better off for it.
“There is all the difference in the world between decent chocolate and confectionery that is so full of sugar and palm oil that it doesn’t deserve to be called chocolate at all,” he said.