Chocolate, endangered !

Here’s a threat that you have not thought of. The world is facing a ‘chocolate drought’, according to an expert, whose warning is prompted by fears that the globe’s sustainable cocoa supplies could be exhausted by 2014.

Political unrest in the Ivory Coast, the source of almost half the world’s cocoa beans, has depleted the number of cocoa farmers there. Many have fled the country or are smuggling the crop into Ghana, where it is selling at a far higher price.

Angus Kennedy, a leading British chocolatier, said that chocolate producers were facing “one of the biggest challenges to hit the industry in recent history”.

He added: “Things could get nasty now as producers start to fight over the last stocks.”

Chocolate makers are now facing the highest cocoa prices for more than 30 years.

Supplies of sustainable cocoa are set to run out, it’s that simple. The Ivory Coast is a complete no-go area for cocoa traders as it’s too dangerous, so training new farmers and trying to cut problems in the region is now impossible.

So in effect, its sustainability is not sustainable.

Prices can’t go up as it’s reported because there basically isn’t enough certified cocoa left to sell. Things could get nasty now as producers start to fight over the last stocks.

Also, if what climate change experts and big corporations presage is true, beloved food items like a cup of morning coffee could become a relic of the past.

cbean

That’s the stark warning coming from scientists, farmers and even big food corporations like Starbucks, which last week told UK publication The Guardian that climate change poses a serious threat to the Arabica coffee bean.

Farmers are already experiencing the fallout from climate change, said Starbucks’ sustainability director Jim Hanna, with severe hurricanes and resistant bugs wreaking havoc on crops.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, (UCS) climate change is threatening coffee crops in virtually every major coffee-producing region of the world, a reality that Hanna will be echoing to members of Congress this week at an event sponsored by the UCS.

Higher temperatures, long droughts followed by intense rainfall and crop diseases have reduced coffee supplies dramatically in recent years. For example, between 2002 and 2011, Indian coffee production declined by nearly 30 percent, says the UCS.

Declining production has also forced supermarket coffee brands like Maxwell House and Folgers in the US to increase their prices by 25 percent or more in 2010 and 2011.

The dire warning from Starbucks about the potential coffee shortage is adding fuel to reports that the coffee giant is entering the cold-pressed juice bar business, as reported by the New York Post recently.

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