The world’s favorite treat may soon be harder to find as cocoa production outstrips consumer demand. Two of the world’s biggest chocolate producers Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut warn that global demand for cocoa will exceed production by 1 milion metric tons by 2020. This deficit is expected to double by 2030. Demand for chocolate officially surpassed supply in 2012, at which time prices rose by 60 percent.
If prices rise at a greater rate, chocolate manufacturers will pass the increase onto consumers,” said Andrew Rolle of Juremont, a major Australian importer of chocolate ingredients.
Cocoa is a naturally difficult plant to work with, being susceptible to diseases and pests like Frosty Pod Rot and Witches Broom. The International Cocoa Organization estimates that these factors have decreased world cocoa production by 40 percent, and that Brazil’s production of cocoa has been decreased by 70 percent over a 10-year period because of these diseases. The geographical regions in which cocoa is produced can also be problematic for reasons such as transportation issues and political unrest.
Some current factors in slowing the production of chocolate is the Ebola crisis and insufficient rainfall in West Africa. As fears of Ebola spreading through West Africa increase, uncertainty mounts on the prospect of a viable cocoa harvest in counties like the Ivory Coast and Ghana, two of the world’s largest cocoa producers. Though the two nations currently remain Ebola free, fear of disease impacting the workforce of cocoa plantations has led some to believe a price spike may be imminent. West Africa, which altogether produces 75 percent of the world’s cocoa, is also suffering a drought, which has impacted cocoa output negatively.
Read More – A World Without Chocolate? Confections Giants Ring the Alarm (CBSNews)