When I discovered that it was Chocolate Week (14 October – 20 October 2013), I thought this was the perfect excuse to gorge without guilt on my first love. I’m not fussy when it comes to the sweet stuff – I’ll take it with biscuit, raisins, plain, dark and bitter (yum), hot and peppery, even with a pinch of salt. So you can imagine my shock, horror and despair to learn that cocoa production is on the decline.
According to a study reported in oilprice.com, the warming of the planet will have direct impact on growing cocoa between 2030 and 2050. The cacao plant can only be grown in latitudes within 10 degrees of the equator, and in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire where around half of the world’s cocoa is produced, temperatures are expected to rise by 2.3 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century. This is expected to be detrimental to breeding cocoa pods.
I also learnt from radio station LBC 97.3 that rubber is muscling in on cocoa’s patch and farmers are clearing swathes of cocoa plantations to invest in the apparently more lucrative production of the stretchy stuff.
Other claims are that chocolate consumption is rising faster than cocoa production, which will make it more expensive, according to the Cocoa Research Association.
Cocoa production may be in a far away clime, but its effects are increasingly being seen here in the UK, especially since the humble chocolate is equitable to £1.
According to one expert on the LBC radio programme, manufacturers are trying to ensure the humble chocolate bar lives on and have introduced more nuts and fruit to the chocolate mix to make the little go a bit further……
By Kirsty Osei-Bempong
For more blogs on cocoa, check Britain’s Cutty Sark: From Chinese tea to Ghanaian cocoa
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