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CHOCOLATE B


Chocolate: price, health & innovation


Our love of chocolate, cultivated from cacao seeds for at least three millennia, seems to know no bounds. But is the chocolate market under threat? Foodservice consultant Dr Pierre Akiki FCSI looks at the future of one of the world’s favourite foods


T


he age of inexpensive chocolate may come to an end in the coming years as many cocoa farmers in West Africa, which represents the principal cocoa (or cacao) growing region in the world, continue to leave the business. Low salaries and a difficult growing cycle have together taken out much of the incentive for growing cocoa, driving many former farmers to the city centres to take advantage of better opportunities.


“In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar” Experts predict that within two decades chocolate prices could be so high as a result of these shortages that the majority of consumers will be unable to afford it. And within six years from now some analysts forecast that cocoa prices will double, making it the most costly it has been in 30 years. “In 20 years chocolate will be like


caviar,” said John Mason, executive director and founder of Nature Conservation Research Council, to The Independent newspaper. “It will become so rare and so expensive that the average consumer won’t be able to afford it.” Cocoa trees are going to disappear in the forthcoming years due to there being insufficient farmers to replant them. Cocoa farmers receive a low salary for


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GALLERYSTOCK


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