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Impending chocolate shortage

 
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5181
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:37 am    Post subject: Impending chocolate shortage Reply with quote

Say it ain't so! Shocked
But then, maybe this is payback for the industry's use of child labor and human trafficking.

The world’s biggest chocolate-maker says we’re running out of chocolate
By Roberto A. Ferdman, Washington Post | 15 November 2014
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/15/the-worlds-biggest-chocolate-maker-says-were-running-out-of-chocolate/

There's no easy way to say this: You're eating too much chocolate, all of you. And it's getting so out of hand that the world could be headed towards a potentially disastrous (if you love chocolate) scenario if it doesn't stop.

Those are, roughly speaking, the words of two huge chocolate makers, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut. And there's some data to back them up.

Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, the two chocolate-makers warn that that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons.

The problem is, for one, a supply issue. Dry weather in West Africa (specifically in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa is produced) has greatly decreased production in the region. A nasty fungal disease known as frosty pod hasn't helped either. The International Cocoa Organization estimates it has wiped out between 30 percent and 40 percent of global cocoa production. Because of all this, cocoa farming has proven a particularly tough business, and many farmers have shifted to more profitable crops, like corn, as a result.

Then there's the world's insatiable appetite for chocolate. China's growing love for the stuff is of particular concern. The Chinese are buying more and more chocolate each year. Still, they only consume per capita about 5 percent of what the average Western European eats. There's also the rising popularity of dark chocolate, which contains a good deal more cocoa by volume than traditional chocolate bars (the average chocolate bar contains about 10 percent, while dark chocolate often contains upwards of 70 percent).

For these reasons, cocoa prices have climbed by more than 60 percent since 2012, when people started eating more chocolate than the world could produce. And chocolate makers have, in turn, been forced to adjust by raising the price of their bars. Hershey's was the first, but others have followed suit.

Efforts to counter the growing imbalance between the amount of chocolate the world wants and the amount farmers can produce has inspired a bit of much needed innovation. Specifically, an agricultural research group in Central Africa is developing trees that can produce up to seven times the amount of beans traditional cocoa trees can. The uptick in efficiency, however, might be compromising taste, says Bloomberg's Mark Schatzker. He likens the trade-off to other mass-produced commodities.

Efforts are under way to make chocolate cheap and abundant -- in the process inadvertently rendering it as tasteless as today’s store-bought tomatoes, yet another food, along with chicken and strawberries, that went from flavorful to forgettable on the road to plenitude.

It's unclear anyone will mind a milder flavor if it keeps prices down. And the industry certainly won't mind, so long as it keeps the potential for a gargantuan shortage at bay.

(End of article)
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12490
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We live in the End Times. What do you expect ?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9786
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

End of Piggie Times...

When the age of World Communism is ushered in, everyone's chocolate ration will be increased.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12490
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And everyone will have above average income.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 877
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
When the age of World Communism is ushered in, everyone's chocolate ration will be increased.


Looking forward to it . . . the increased chocolate ration, that is. Smile
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5181
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top 10 chocoholic countries
By AFPRelaxnews | August 6, 2013
Source: http://www.luxuo.com/gastronomy/top-10-chocoholic-countries-2012.html

Switzerland is home to the most devoted chocoholics in the world, where per capita consumption averaged about 12 kg in 2012, according to Confectionerynews.com. Rounding out the list of top chocolate-consuming countries are Ireland, the UK, Austria and Belgium. The US falls in at No. 15.

Given that chocolate is considered a small luxury, it’s no wonder that the majority of the top 20 countries boast a large middle class population with higher disposable incomes than the rest of the developing world, the report points out.

Meanwhile, though it doesn’t come close to cracking the top 20 list, India has emerged as the fastest-growing market for chocolate, with sales doubling from $418 million in 2008 to $857 million in 2011. Per capita consumption in India was 70 g in 2011. But as pointed out by market research group Mintel, that just means potential for growth is high in this booming economy, where the appetite for premium, luxury goods shows strong growth.

Where the sweet stuff is having difficulty making inroads, however, is China, a country where palates are more accustomed to salty, savory foods over sweets. The average Chinese eats a modest 100 g of chocolate a year — or the equivalent of two chocolate bars. Growth in the market is also projected to increase a lukewarm 10 percent to 2015.

While chocolate is an everyday treat in the Western world, chocolate makers like Italy’s Ferrero Rocher and Belgian brand Godiva are pitching the confectionery as a premium product ideal for gift giving.

Here are the Top 10 chocolate-consuming countries in 2012 – based on per capita consumption

1. Switzerland 11.9 kg
2. Ireland 9.9 kg
3. UK 9.5 kg
4. Austria 8.8 kg
5. Belgium 8.3 kg
6. Germany 8.2 kg
7. Norway 8 kg
8. Denmark 7.5 kg
9. Canada 6.4 kg
10. France 6.3 kg

(End of article)
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5181
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, yes. There's that scene of Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NPzLBSBzPI
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Mushkilla



Joined: 17 Apr 2014
Posts: 320
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
End of Piggie Times...

When the age of World Communism is ushered in, everyone's chocolate ration will be increased.

Indeed Comrade Sasha, that’s one chocolaty holy communion of Stalin chocolate! Laughing

In a small hall in front of the director’s office where a huge bust of Stalin, made of chocolate, was exhibited. It was perhaps ordered by someone, but, most likely, made by the factory as a gift to Stalin for his sixtieth birthday.

I don’t know who touched the pedestal where the bust was seated. The fact remains that Stalin’s bust tottered and fell down, breaking into many large and small pieces. Our teachers were stunned. And the director, when he jumped out of his office and saw what had happened to the chocolate Leader of All the Progressive Humanity, went completely white, then looked at us with suddenly empty eyes, then looked behind him for some reason, and uttered almost without any voice and with only half of his mouth open (I don’t remember, left or right): ‘Eat it!’

We heard his command, and not just heard it but correctly understood it – and jumped… on the Best Friend and the Teacher of All Soviet Children.

The first thing that struck me (and, maybe others as well, but we did not share these thoughts) was that Stalin turned out to be empty inside… I got a huge ear of Joseph Vissarionovich, of the size of my two feet at that time…On another occasion we would have luxuriated on this ear for the whole day… but now we finished Stalin quickly… Nothing was left of Stalin, not a single crumb: the director, we think, even forbade sweeping the floor – which would be an extra blasphemy… – not that there was anything left to sweep; it was Stalin, after all.

http://seansrussiablog.org/2007/10/09/peace-blankets-and-chocolate-stalin/

Now that Putin appears to be sticking around for a while longer, one can’t help wonder: Is there a chocolate visage in his future? Shocked
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9786
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possible the best-worded post yet...
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