It used to be a treat but now a chocolate bar is one of the cheapest ways to fill up. Chocolate is the unlikely substance at the heart of commodity wars. Cocoa has been reported to be more valuable than gold but will this mean the end of the nation’s coffee break.
Over-farming has caused problems in chocolate producing countries in Africa and South America. The pressure to produce cheap cocoa has meant farmers have failed to replant and replenish. Soil has become unusable and mature trees are now reaching the end of their life cycle. Fair trade has been forced on even the biggest producers like Nestle as the only means to get the raw product. But, is it too little too late and is this late interest a real commitment to fair deals for farmers and their land?
There is concern that speculation by financial traders has helped to push up food prices worldwide, creating an unsustainable bubble that makes it even harder for many in the developing world to afford to eat.
The best part is where it’s explained that unscrupulous production not only exploits farmers, but also threatens rain forests unnecessarily as cacao has a symbiotic relationship with the rain forests.
The worst part is where a doctor mistakes chocolate for sugar.
We all need to play a part in spreading the message that good chocolate doesn’t need much sugar or additional fat, and that we can source it sustainably and without harming the places where it’s harvested. Over the next few weeks we’re hoping to share some video taken showing the production processes at our co-venture in Grenada.