Chocolate. Some people actually don’t like it, but for many of us, there are times when any other treat simply won’t do.
Sadly, it looks like our fix of chocolate will be harder to come by in future years. After generations of growing demand, consumption now supersedes production and the stocks are going down. The Cocoa Research Association have noted that this treat will become more of a delicacy in the future, and those without more money than average simply won’t be able to afford it.
Cacoa only grows in specific areas of the globe but in these places farmers are lacking incentives to produce it, which means supply is dwindling. Prices have doubled in the last 5 years or so, so this trend is having an impact already. As farmers move to more lucrative plants such as palm oil, or simply give up the low paid job of growing cacao to move to cities, the situation is set to worsen. Some of the larger companies like Mars have gotten involved in some genetic engineering to produce stronger cacao trees that bear more fruit. But as long as farmers cannot live from growing them, this makes little difference.
The price rise in chocolate is set to be a big one too, with bars of chocolate going above the €10 mark, so grabbing a bar for a euro won’t be possible anymore. This is another example of how producers have made profit from an insaitable demand without considering the future. For cacao, we will eventually pass the point where there is not enough raw material to keep up with our demand and just like in wartime, a bar of chocolate will again be an uncommon experience.
We may lose our easy access to chocolate, but if we can learn from this and see how we must think before we take from the earth and before we exploit producers, we may get something out of it.