The world could run out of affordable chocolate within 20 years as farmers abandon their crops in the global cocoa basket of West Africa, industry experts claim.
The reason for this unimaginable shortage – which has been presaged by the doubling of cocoa prices in six years to an all-time high over the past three decades – is simple.
Farmers in the countries that produce the bulk of cocoa bought by the multinationals who control the market have found the crop a bitter harvest. The minimal rewards they have historically received do not provide incentives for the time-consuming work of replanting as their trees die off – a task that usually means moving to a new area of canopied forest and waiting three to five years for a new crop to mature.I have a hunch that if sustainable forests for paper and lumber are possible, the same can be done for cocoa. But it's nice that those West African farmers have so many other profitable options that they can just abandon their crops!