Will there be a chocolate drought? World’s supply of sustainable cocoa could run out by 2014
By Simon Watkins And Jo Thornhill
Last updated at 9:04 AM on 28th January 2011
The world faces a chocolate ‘drought’ over the next few years, an expert warned yesterday.
Political unrest in the Ivory Coast, where 40 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans are grown, has ‘significantly’ depleted the number of certified fair trade cocoa farmers. Many have fled the West *African country, while fair trade training programmes have also come to a halt.
Fairtrade training programmes have ground to a halt because of the danger farmers face in rural areas. The situation is already affecting chocolate manufacturers, who are facing the highest cocoa prices for over 30 years. Prices jumped by 10 per cent this month alone. Analysts are predicting they could soon hit $3,720 per metric tonne - a level last seen in January 1979.
It follows a curb on international cocoa exports initiated earlier this week by the country's new president, Alassane Ouattara.
Angus Kennedy, the editor of Kennedy's Confection and a leading British chocolatier, said chocolate producers are facing 'one of the biggest challenges to hit the industry in recent history'. 'Supplies of sustainable cocoa are set to run out, it's that simple,' he said.