A cocoa shortage that’s already lasted two years is threatening your chocolate supply! It’s not hard to see why small scale producers in West Africa are moving away from producing cocoa.
90% of all cocoa is grown on small, family owned plots of 12 or less acres. Each of these farms only produces a yield of around 350 lbs of cocoa per acre per year, generating an average income of £18-60 per family member. Farmers are switching to more lucrative crops such as rubber, which is also a much easier crop to look after. This trend of tearing out cocoa plantations for rubber is causing a cocoa shortage that’s expected to get worse. Prices just haven’t risen high enough to compete with other crops.
Ibrahim Cisse, who farms nine hectares in western Ivory Coast, has devoted six of them to rubber because he could make more money that way.
“Instead of losing my time and killing myself to try to fix my cocoa trees, I preferred switching to rubber,”
As global companies and organisations rush in to try to make cocoa more sustainable, perhaps we can all do more to help by buying Fair Trade chocolate!