Experters are predicting, and chocolate lovers lamenting, that there might be a chocolate ‘drought’ over the next several years due to the world political unrest especially in the Ivory Coast that produces 40 percent of the world’s cocoa beans.
The political unrest in the country have caused certified cocoa bean producers to either flee or drastically reduce their output while training programs that can create new cocoa bean producers meeting fair trade standards, no longer exist. The immediate result is 30 percent higher chocolate prices – the long term result is no sustainable cocoa by 2014.
The rest of the world’s certified producers could not produce enough to meet demand and replace the production lost in the Ivory Coast. On average it takes three of more years to become a certified sustainable cocoa bean farmer and extensive training is needed.
Even when the political unrest settles in the Ivory Coast it would take three years to produce enough for current demand and for prices to go back now to former levels.