Can Fair Trade Chocolate Curb the Looming Cocoa Shortage?
The news seems dire: In seven years the world may be out of chocolate.
For most North Americans, doomsayers couldnâ€™t paint a worse picture: first wine, and now chocolate may be out of reach by the average worker within a few yearsâ€™ time. The cost for a simple chocolate bar is projected to become too expensive for the average person to afford in the near future.
Cocoa yields have been dropping across the world for years. In Ghana, crop harvests are down 5 percent from 2012, and more than 17 percent from 2011. In August, crop harvests in the Ivory Coast, which account for at least 40 percent of the worldâ€™s cocoa, were expected to drop during the fall harvest as well (cocoa is harvested twice a year in some areas).
Some experts are blaming the decreased production on pest infestation and not enough spraying of pesticides to ward off insects. Others have attributed it to increasing temperatures due to climate change that indirectly affect the delicate ecological balance thatâ€™s needed for cacao plantations. Cacao only grows in areas close to the equator in optimum conditions.
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