In 2013, the world ate 70,000 tons of chocolate more than it produced, marking the longest chocolate shortages in 50 years according to Bloomberg. And this chocolate shortage appears like it will only get worse as time goes on. Have we came up the solution yet? Yes we did. But for the most part, as a chocolate lover, you might not like it.
The Guardian suggested that we should invest the cocoa farmers for a profitable livelihood. Many farmers quit planting cocoa because they were not able to make enough money from cocoa to support their families. According to Who’s got the Power? Tackling imbalances in agricultural supply chains, retailers and branded manufacturers each take around 35-40% of the chocolate’s value, leaving the cocoa farmers themselves with just 5%. The retailers and manufacturers took most the revenues and leaving the farmers with minimal incomes. Farmers are the most important group of people in the production of chocolate. The Guardian believes that we can prevent chocolate shortage growing by increasing the cocoa farmers’ income. If growing cocoa trees become profitable, then more farmers will go back to planting cocoa.
Disease is also a factor of why some farmers stopped planting cocoa trees. As Time explained, a fungus known as frosty pod, has wiped out about 30 to 40 percent of the harvest. The difficulties have made many farmers turning to other more reliable plants like corn and rubber. Pam Williams, president of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), who claims that chocolate manufacturers have already stopped focusing on flavor as they did before and instead they are focusing more on consistency and price. Believe it of not, nowadays many chocolates that we see in common store are either fake or made from beans from cacao tree clones like CCN-51. CNN-51 is a short, squat plant that sprouts bright-red pods–is sturdy, disease-resistant, and prolific, producing four to ten times the yield of run-of-the-mill cacao trees. CNN-51 helped boosted the amount of cocoa beans to fulfill the demand in the production of chocolate, however, the taste is disappointing. As Ed Seguine who is a distinguished chocolate taster described, the new breed of chocolate tastes like “acidic dirt”. Some chocolate manufacturers found CCN-51 a great substitute for original cocoa beans. In fact , As National Geographic explain, About 95 percent of chocolate is made from “bulk beans,” generally inferior stuff which is heavily processed and beefed up with sugar and added flavors, such as vanilla. In addition, most of the Chocolate manufacturers claims that the consumers won’t be able to tell the differences when they used CCN-51 in their products.
I am happy that we have came up the some solution to solve chocolate shortage, at the same time, I feel very confused about the chocolate that I am eating all the time. I think I forgot what is the real taste of chocolate.After I done so many research on chocolate, I found myself questioning about chocolate all the time. Is that chocolate? Are they real? What are the ingredients? Is it mostly sugar? Are they using CCN-51? Is child labor involved in the production? What is chocolate?