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The World is Heading Towards a Global Chocolate Shortage

Updated on May 15, 2015

Chocolate is one of the world's most popular treat. It is savoured and used extensively around the globe. From cakes to pastries to puddings to ice-creams to biscuits to milk to a simple bar, it is the flavour you cannot substitute. From a 3 year old child to a 60 year old adult, every body likes a bite out of chocolate every now and then. Every occasion - be it a birthday party or a festival or even a small family get together, a chocolate is always served at least in some form. Best thing is that if taken in moderate amounts, chocolate has many health benefits as well. For instance, Resveratrol - an important compound in chocolate, may not only protect your brain and nervous system, but actually prolong your life. It also contains a chemical - Anandamide which helps you prevent depression. This is why a lot of individuals tend to eat chocolate when feeling low. Besides these two, numerous other compounds are found as well which elevate chocolate from the mere status of a delightful treat. The flavour of chocolate is something all of us are so addicted to that we cannot imagine a world without it. We've gone so far to even take it for granted. Candy manufacturers Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut recently warned that consumer demand for chocolate will exceed cocoa supply by 2020, creating a gap in supply and demand. The predicted shortage is attributed to myriad factors such as disease, drought, rapacious new markets and the displacement of cacao by more productive crops such as corn and rubber. Next time you grab a bite from your favourite chocolate, be sure to savour it. It might just run out in the future.


Timeline of history of chocolate
Timeline of history of chocolate
Spreading of chocolate across the world
Spreading of chocolate across the world
The Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency
The Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate.
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate.
Coffee, tea and chocolate all arrived in England at the same time.
Coffee, tea and chocolate all arrived in England at the same time.
The Princess of Spain married the French king. She took chocolate with her; it then spread from France throughout Europe.
The Princess of Spain married the French king. She took chocolate with her; it then spread from France throughout Europe.
An early  poster - Sir Hans Sloanne's chocolate
An early poster - Sir Hans Sloanne's chocolate
Early poster - Cailler Swiss Chocolate
Early poster - Cailler Swiss Chocolate
Early poster -Fryer's Chocolate
Early poster -Fryer's Chocolate
Early poster - Stoilwerch
Early poster - Stoilwerch
Early poster - French Chocolate
Early poster - French Chocolate
Early poster - Hershey's
Early poster - Hershey's
Early poster - Cadbury's
Early poster - Cadbury's
Early poster - Buzz Bars
Early poster - Buzz Bars
Early poster - Toblerone
Early poster - Toblerone
Modern packaging - Guanaja
Modern packaging - Guanaja
Modern packaging - Grand Crus
Modern packaging - Grand Crus

History of Chocolate

1500-300 B.C.

The Olmec Indians are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans as a domestic crop. Cacao trees have grown wild for possibly 10,000 years. The Olmec civilization lasts to about 300 B.C.

250 B.C -900 A.D

The Olmec, a very sophisticated society, give much of their culture to the Maya. Consumption of cocoa beans is restricted to the Mayan society’s elite, in the form of an unsweetened cocoa drink made from the ground beans. The Maya migrate into northern regions of South America and Mesoamerica, establishing the earliest known cocoa plantations in the Yucatan. Nobles drink frothy “cacau” from tall pottery beakers. Beans are a valuable commodity, used both as a means of payment and as units of calculation.

600 A.D.

Beans are local and international currency

1200s

The Maya begin trade with the Aztecs, and give them cacau. The Aztecs called it “cacahuatl” meaning warm or bitter liquid. Xocolatl is flavored with local spices, including chili, cinnamon, musk, pepper and vanilla, and thickened with cornmeal; then frothed in a bowl with a molinillo (photo at right) and served at room temperature.

1300s The Aztecs become the first to tax the beans, and restrict it to noblemen, priests, officials, warriors and the rich traders who supply it. It is a restorative, a medicinal revitalizer, a ceremonial beverage and an a better of longevity. It is served at end of banquets.

1400s
Christopher Columbus is said to have brought back cacao beans to King Ferdinand from his fourth visit to the New World, but they were overlooked in favor of the many other treasures he had found.

1500s

Cacao is tasted by Columbus on his fourth and last voyage to the New World. Columbus encounters a great Mayan trading canoe on the island of Guanaja, off Honduras, carrying a cargo of cocoa beans. (Almost 500 years later, Valrhona, the great chocolate company, makes a 'grand cru' chocolate bar and names it in honor of the island). He presents the King and Queen of Spain with beans, but Ferdinand and Isabella see no real worth in them. Spanish explorer Hernan Cortès conquers part of Mexico. By chance, his arrival coincides with the expected return of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl - the god who had given cacao to the people and taught them how to cultivate it from his travels.

Quetzalcoatl is believed to be white-skinned and beard, and Cortes is initially mistaken for the god. Hernando Cortez records the cacao usage in the Aztec court of Emperor Montezuma in San Juan de Ulloa (Vera Cruz, Mexico). He builds a cocoa plantation to “grow money” in the name of Spain, beginning a Spanish cocoa monopoly that lasts two centuries. The first time how the cocoa drink is prepared is found in the notes of Benzoni, an explorer working for the Spanish army. The Spanish keep this secret from the rest of the world, in the hope they can keep their monopoly in the cocoa trade. Spanish nuns in Oaxaca, Mexico are the first to sweeten chocolate with honey, cinnamon and cane sugar, making the drink popular with colonials. Spanish monks introduce the first sweetened drink to Spain around 1590. They sweeten it with honey and vanilla.

1600s

An Italian traveler, Antonio Carletti, discovers chocolate in Spain and takes it to Italy where chocolate-mania develops: Cioccolatieri open in all major cities. From Italy, chocolate spreads to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.Eating solid chocolate is introduced in the form of pastilles. One reference states that in 1674 the English propose solid “fingers of chocolate in the Spanish fashion” intended for eating. The phrase indicates that such products may already have been available in Spain. Chocolate pastry is first served in coffee houses in the U.K.

1700s

After 1700, drinking chocolate expands worldwide; chiles disappear as an ingredient except in Mexican mole sauces. By the turn of the 18th century, chocolate makes its way back to the Americas. In little more than a decade, Massachusetts sea captains are bringing back cargoes of cocoa beans and Boston Fry sets up the first chocolate factory in Bristol, England using hydraulic machinery to process and grind the cacao beans. Apothecary shops are advertising and selling chocolate imported from Europe. Swedish naturalist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) is dissatisfied with the word cacao, so renames it “theobroma,” Greek for “food of the gods.” European countries colonize much of the world, and in the process acquire cacao plantations that ensure their own supply of cocoa beans.

1800s

Venezuela is producing half the world’s cacao, and one-third of all chocolate products produced in the world are being consumed by the Spaniards.The pioneer of Swiss chocolate-making, François Louis Callier, opens the first Swiss chocolate factory in Corsier, near Vevey.Purchases of cocoa by the Royal Navy are more than for the rest of Britain. Nutritious, hot and non-alcoholic, it is considered a perfect drink for sailors on watch duty.A German baker named Stollwerck begins a business that grows into one of the largest companies in Germany, producing a variety of chocolate products and brands.The first pressed chocolate tablets, pastilles and figures are produced in Belgium by the chocolate company Berwaerts.

Joseph Fry’s grandson Francis Fry, then head of the firm J.S. Fry & Sons, discovers a way to mix some of the cocoa butter back into the dutched chocolate (cocoa powder) and adds sugar, creating a paste that can be molded. He calls this “eating chocolate” (“chocolat delicieux a manger”). This is the first modern chocolate bar, although conching has not yet been invented, so it is not the smooth, silky bar we know today but a rough, grainy chocolate.Cadbury brothers are selling a similar product two years later. Joseph Fry & Son and Cadbury Brothers display “chocolates for eating” at an exhibition in Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England. Richard Cadbury creates the first known heart-shaped candy box for Valentine’s Day.Daniel Peter of Vevey, Switzerland, who had developed an accidental interest in chocolate due to his affection for Fanny Cailler, the eldest daughter of chocolatier François-Louis Cailler, experiments for eight years before finally inventing, at age 31, a means of making milk chocolate, using condensed milk. The milk has been perfected by his neighbor Henri Nestlé, a food scientist.Rodolphe Lindt of Berne, Switzerland, invents the conching machine to heat and roll chocolate in order to refine it to a smooth consistency.Félix Bonnat founds the Bonnat Chocolate Shop. Shortly afterwards he creates the French praline.Félix Bonnat founds the Bonnat Chocolate Shop. Shortly afterwards he creates the French praline.

Early 1900s

Milton Hershey creates a model factory town town called Hersheyville dedicated to the production of chocolate. The specialty is the Hershey Kiss. Around 1900, the price of cacao and sugar drop tremendously, making chocolate affordable for the middle classes. Milton Hershey’s birthplace, Derry Church, Pennsylvania, is renamed Hershey. Canadian Arthur Ganong markets the first nickel chocolate bar.Chocolate bars become individual-sized: from 150g (5 ounces), they begin to be made in 30g and 45g sizes (1 ounce and 1.5 ounces) and made in tablet shapes for snacking. Twenty-two years after Hershey’s kisses debut, Francesco Buitoni, a relative of the pasta family, launches Baci, Italian for kiss. His chocolate kisses have a hazelnut in the center.

Late 1900s - Present

Valrhona introduces the concept of the single origin chocolate bar, making their first with beans exclusively from South America. The 70% cacao bar is named Guanaja in honor of the island of Guanaja, off Honduras, where Christopher Columbus first tasted chocolate almost 500 years earlier. They call it a Grand Cru chocolate. Following Valrhona’s pioneering efforts, other “designer chocolate bars” debut, including bars made from the beans of single plantations. Today, annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages approximately 600,000 tons, and per capita chocolate consumption is greatly on the rise. But the best chocolate, made of criollo beans, is just 5% of the world crop. A new generation of chocolatiers knows no bounds.

The fusion cuisine of the late 20th century has logically found its way to chocolate: exotic spices such as saffron, curry and lemongrass are now commonplace in chocolate, as are everyday kitchen foods such as basil, goat cheese and olive oil. The Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s largest exporter of cacao beans, 1.4 million tons. The Netherlands both imports and grinds the most cacao. Some is made into chocolates; the remainder is processed into couverture and cocoa powder and exported to other countries which make their own chocolates from it.

TYPES OF CHOCOLATE

Chocolate is basically a mixture of cocoa and sugar. Other ingredients such as milk, honey, dried fruits, nuts and liqueur can also be added.Chocolate is a sweet that is thousands of years old, which today is made of the mass of cocoa beans and cocoa butter obtained by processing roasted cocoa beans and powdered sugar, in the case of milk chocolate, milk raw material is added to the ingredients. Broadly, there are 4 main types of chocolates:

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is simply chocolate liquor (the centers of cocoa beans ground to a liquid), extra cocoa butter, sugar, an emulsifier (often lecithin) and vanilla or other flavorings. Dark chocolates may contain milk fat to soften the texture, but they do not generally have a milky flavor.Dark chocolate also is known as semi-sweet chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate, or baking chocolate, is 100 percent chocolate liquor and is typically very bitter and astringent. Darker chocolates often have a higher percent cacao, which means they have a higher proportion of cocoa beans in them than other chocolates do.


Milk Chocolate

The process of making milk chocolate was perfected by Daniel Peter of Vevey, Switzerland. Surprisingly, sweet and creamy milk chocolate isn’t usually made with cold, frothy milk. It’s usually made with dry milk solids, which look like powdered milk. Milk chocolate has at least 10 percent cocoa liquor by weight, and at least 12 percent milk solids. It’s the most common kind of eating chocolate.Milk chocolate is formulated by substituting whole milk solids for a portion of the chocolate liquor used in producing sweet chocolate. The US Government requires a 10% concentration of chocolate liquor and the European rules specify a minimum of 25% cocoa solids. Therefore milk chocolate does not contain as much chocolate liquor as dark chocolate, which gives it a softer chocolate flavour. The quality of milk chocolate varies, the better brands contain a higher percentage of chocolate liquor using pure ingredients with no artificial flavoring. European milk chocolate generally contains condensed milk, whereas American and British milk chocolate contains a milk and sugar mixture.

White Chocolate

White chocolate is a confection based on cocoa butter, milk and sugar. It has no cocoa solids and therefore it is not strictly chocolate. Cocoa butter is the fat from cocoa beans, extracted during the process of making chocolate, it has very little chocolate flavour. The cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, which is not found in white chocolate, is produced by grinding the cocoa nib to a smooth liquid state, hence the name chocolate liquor. White chocolate has a creamy consistency and taste and should be ivory-coloured. However it lacks flavour because it contains no chocolate liquor which gives chocolate the bitter intense chocolate flavour. Therefore it is not normally used in cooking unless to complement plain chocolate. It can also be used as an alternative to dark and milk chocolate for decoration purposes. White chocolate is a delicate chocolate and must be melted over a very low heat to prevent it from scorching.White chocolate features cocoa butter—think milk chocolate minus the cocoa solids. In addition to the cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, lecithin and vanilla, white chocolate may contain other flavorings. It has at least 20 percent cocoa butter, 14 percent milk solids, and no more than 55 percent sugar.

Chocolate Couverture

Couverture is a term used to define high quality chocolate coating that contains a high percentage of cocoa butter. Chocolate couverture contains at least 32% cocoa butter and for good quality courverture at much as 39%. This high percentage of cocoa butter give couverture a shiny appearance, thin consistency when melted and excellent flavour. Usually chocolate couverture also contains a high chocolate liquor content which strengthens the flavour. Chocolate courverture is used by professional to coat, mould, bake or dip and garnish. Courverture must be tempered before use to stabilize the cocoa butter,giving it a glossy finish and a hard crisp consistency. If it is not tempered before use it will look a poor streaky colour and may look unappetising. Generally on the packaging of couverture chocolate you will find a formula giving you the percentage of cocoa solids, sugar and cocoa butter or fat content.



SOURCE OF CHOCOLATE

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans , the dried and partially fermented seeds of the Cacao tree - a small evergreen tree native to tropical regions.The scientific name given to the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao. While there have been some recent attempts to modify to the growth cycle, as a rule the tree starts producing cacao in its 5th year with peak production in its 10th year. The trees can grow to be 100 years or more, but commercial production stops after 25 yrs. The shiny green leaves spring from branches on a trunk that grows up to 30 ft tall. The cacao flowers continuously once it has matured, with orchid-like white & pink blossoms growing directly from tree trunk. Of the thousands of blossoms approximately 100 will become mature pods, which will also grow directly from the trunk of the tree. Cacao trees grow best in the geographic band that is 15-20 degrees north or south of Equator in West Africa, Central and South America and parts of Asia. Cacao is also grown in Sri Lanka, parts of India, Venezuela, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Fiji and other countries clustered near the equator. The trees flourish in the shade of rain forests where they gain protection from the wind in rich, well drained soil. The climate is one of high humidity, usually 100% during the day and 70-80% at night. The cacao prefers a constant but moderate temperature of 77 degrees at all times, and ample rainfall of 40-80 inches per year is preferable.


Chocolate is obtained from the bean pods of Cacao Trees
Chocolate is obtained from the bean pods of Cacao Trees
Cacao tree seeds
Cacao tree seeds
Criollo
Criollo
Forastero
Forastero
Trinitario
Trinitario

TYPES OF CACAO

Three major types of cacao are cultivated:

The Criollo tree originates in Mexico and Central America and gives very high quality cacao beans and is mainly cultivated in South and Central America. The yield is fairly low. A number of varieties of Criollo are cultivated; in Venezuela well known varieties are "Chuao", "Porcelana", "Puerto Cabello" and "Carupano". Criollo beans are often mixed with other varieties of cacao when making chocolate.

The Forastero is very much cultivated in Africa, but also in Central and South America and constitutes approximately 80% of world production of cacao. This tree grows faster and gives higher yield than other types of cacao. A number of varieties are cultivated, in Venezuela excellent varieties are "Carenero Superior", "Caracas Natural" and "Rio Caribe". The Forastero "Amenolado" variety produces delicate, aromatic beans and is cultivated primarily in Ecuador.

The Trinitario is a crossbreed between the Forastero and Criollo, and is mainly cultivated in Central and South America and Asia. It has its aroma from Criollo and its resistance to disease and its productivity from Forastero.

The flavor of the cacao beans is not only dependent on the variety, but also on the soil, temperature, sunshine and rainfall. It is now possible to buy chocolates made with cacao beans from one single region and thus compare the aromas; these chocolates are often called specialty chocolates, in contrast to ordinary chocolate which are made with mostly cheap cacao beans from several regions and with more than one cacao variety.


Steps to Make Chocolate

Step 1 - Harvesting

The process begins with harvesting. Ripe cocoa pods are harvested twice a year. The harvest times vary from region to region, but the process of turning it into chocolate begins immediately. The pods are cut open with machetes and the white pulp containing the cocoa beans is scooped out.

Step 2 - Fermenting

The pods and pulp are placed into large wooden containers, where the pulp is allowed to ferment for five to seven days. During the process, the beans are turned to help them ferment more evenly. This is the first stage in developing the flavour of the chocolate, and part of the reason why a farmer can have a direct impact on the quality of the finished chocolate.

Step 3 - Drying

After fermentation, the next step in the process is to dry the beans. This is usually done by spreading them out into a single layer in the sun. Most beans are transferred into sacks and transported around the world after drying, so in order to prevent mold, it’s important that they’re completely dry at this point.

Step 4 - Roasting

The next step in the process is roasting. This is done by the chocolate maker rather than the farmer. A few chocolate companies make their chocolate at source where it grows, but the hot climate required to grow cocoa makes the chocolate making process more challenging. Most chocolate is made in cooler climates, like Europe or North America. The process and equipment used to roast the beans vary considerably from chocolate maker to chocolate maker. Some use standard ovens, others have specially made systems designed to rotate the beans and roast as evenly and accurately as possible. The exact temperature and roast time are part of the chocolate maker’s (often secret) recipe, and will have been worked out with careful experimentation and lots of tasting!

Step 5 - Cracking & Winnowing

The roasted cocoa beans have a thin, papery shell around them which needs to be removed, so at this point in the process, the beans are cracked open and the shell is removed in a process called winnowing. The lighter shells are blown away with fans, leaving behind pieces of pure cocoa bean, known as “nibs”.

Step 6 - Grinding & Conching

The cocoa nibs are ground with stone rollers until they become a paste known as cocoa mass or cocoa liquor. This pure, unrefined form of chocolate contains both cocoa solids (the chocolatey part!) and cocoa butter (the natural fat present in the bean). Cocoa butter can be extracted from the cocoa mass with a hydraulic press. This is useful because most chocolate makers often use extra cocoa butter to give their chocolate a smoother, glossier texture. Some confectionery manufacturers replace this extra cocoa butter with cheaper vegetable fats, and this is something you should look out for on the ingredients and try to avoid. The only fat in real chocolate is cocoa butter. Traditionally, the cocoa mass is be transferred to a separate machine called a conch, where it is further refined. Many modern artisans combine the grinding and conching into a single process using a machine called a melanger. This is simply a large metal cylinder with two rotating granite wheels that grind and refine the chocolate into very small particles. It’s during this process that sugar, milk powder (for milk chocolate) and other flavourings are added to the chocolate. The conching process can take anything from a few hours to a few days and affects the chemical structure of the chocolate, as well as the particle size. This part of the process has a very big impact on the flavour notes in the finished chocolate, and deciding exactly how long to conch for is part of the chocolate maker’s skill.

Step 7 - Tempering

Great chocolate should have a shiny finish and a good “snap” – that clean clicking sound when you break a piece off. These are created by tempering, the controlled process of raising, lowering and raising the temperature of the chocolate to form exactly the right kind of crystals. If you were to let the untempered chocolate cool naturally, the chocolate would be soft and crumbly and would not melt evenly on the tongue. Tempering can be done by hand, but the process would be enormously time consuming for the large amounts of chocolate that bar manufacturers have to work with, so most use tempering machines that can heat large quantities of chocolate very accurately. The tempering machine will keep the melted chocolate circulating at exactly the right temperature, making the final step easier.

Step 8 - Moulding

The final step in making a finished chocolate bar is pouring it into a mould. The melted chocolate is simply poured into plastic bar-shaped moulds and agitated to remove any air bubbles. Larger chocolate makers will have machines and conveyors that deposit exactly the right amount of chocolate into each mould, but many smaller manufacturers still do this part by hand. Once cooled, the chocolate is wrapped and ready to go!




Step 9 - Packaging

The chocolate is taken out of moulds and packed. It is ready to be dispatched to the markets.

WHY IS THE WORLD RUNNING OUT OF CHOCOLATE ?

THE FARMERS
IVORY COAST & GHANA

Farmers have been growing cocoa for generations in Ivory Coast ( also known as Cote d'ivoire) and Ghana – but with warnings of a global shortage by 2020, they say that their livelihood is far from easy. They know the hardships; the risk of diseases, inconsistent rains and buyers forcing them to sell at rock-bottom prices. With aging trees that yield fewer pods and the arduous process of harvesting, farmers have been giving up on their plantations. Dry weather in West Africa (specifically in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa is produced) has greatly decreased production in the region. A nasty fungal disease known as frosty pod hasn't helped either. The International Cocoa Organization estimates it has wiped out between 30 -40 percent of global cocoa production. A lot of farmers are now switching on to crops like Rubber and Corn. Worst part is that the farmers have no say when it comes to reforms or solutions for saving their livelihood. The government always has the last word.

THE PROCESSORS
INDONESIA

When the cocoa bean leaves the farm, it’s still a long way from the world’s favourite treat. To get it a step closer, huge processing plants such as those found in Indonesia are essential. But even in this country – the world’s third-biggest producer, stagnating harvests and heavy demand mean that more and more of the beans that wind up in those plants are coming from other nations including Ivory Coast. Indonesia’s problem lay in a troubled, $350m (£223m) cloning experiment that ran in 2009. It was supposed to flood the country’s cocoa farms with 70m disease-resistant, fast-growing seedlings; the government predicted yields would reach 1m tonnes annually. Instead the harvest is in decline, beset on all sides by disease, old age and the cocoa pod borer, a tiny moth that is the bane of Asia’s cocoa growers. Eight years ago production was 600,000 tonnes a year. Now it is just 490,000. Domestic chocolate consumption is growing more than 20% a year, according to the Indonesian Cocoa Industry Association, while rising demand in China, Asia’s largest chocolate market, has foreign companies rushing to break into the region. Cargill, Barry Callebaut and Olam International are all expanding grinding operations in Indonesia.

THE CORPORATIONS
SWITZERLAND

They may be expanding grinding operations in Indonesia, but Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest chocolate company, keeps its central nervous system firmly based in a country that is synonymous with the stuff: Switzerland. You have probably never heard of Barry Callebaut, but you are more than likely to have tasted the company’s products. It produces chocolate for Cadbury’s owner Mondelez, Hershey, Unilever, which owns Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and hundreds of other firms. It provides chocolate as an ingredient to customers, they then use it to make the final chocolate we buy. It was Barry Callebaut's annual report that sparked the latest round of anxiety about the future of chocolate recently. It joined other major industry players in bemoaning a 25% hike in cocoa prices this year caused partly by the Ebola crisis and warning of a “potential chocolate shortage by 2020." The company, which operates 52 chocolate factories across the world including one in Banbury, Oxfordshire, has warned for some time that consumers are facing a chocolate crisis unless production can be increased to meet growing demand. The company says it is insulated from price swings by contracts that charge customers more or less depending on the price of the beans. It has been suggested that the likes of Mondelez and Hershey may try another money-saving tactic that could horrify chocolate lovers even more than price rises: cutting back on the cocoa content. Are Barry Callebaut’s customers trying it? Wermuth declined to say.

THE SHOPKEEPERS
CHINA

The market is growing but it is taking longer than expected. When observers try to explain rising cocoa prices, China's 1.4 billion consumers sometimes get the blame.Yet while chocolate sales have more than doubled in the last decade.They stood at just $2.43bn (£1.6bn) in 2013 – compared to $17.1bn (£10.9bn) in the US. Consumption per capita is around 100g annually; in the UK, it is 8kg. In a sense, that is where the worry lies. The big chocolate companies’ battle for supremacy in China. They are motivated by the idea of a vast, relatively untouched market. When economic reforms began in the late 70s, there were 1 billion people who had never tasted chocolate. Chocolate is like cigarettes - the product has lifetime consumers of the same brand. In China there were consumers with no taste profile.The initial challenge was physical. There was no chilled means of distribution and people shopped at markets rather than air-conditioned grocery stores. Chocolate producers had to wait for retail to catch up. The flavour was also too alien to appeal to many customers, and even mass-market products too expensive. It has been estimated that perhaps 200 million people in China have tasted chocolate and buy it regularly. But in the long term, this will become the world’s largest market. Despite the analysts who are quick to point to Chinese and Indian consumption to explain the chocolate shortage, there is really another factor closer to home: the remarkable and still growing western taste for chocolate with everything. You can now find chocolate in increasingly surprising places – in gourmet savoury dishes, vodka and gin and strange new products, such as the chocolate covered potato crisps launched in the US recently. But perhaps the best example of how chocolate is increasingly infusing a whole category of foods is breakfast cereals for both adults and children. 40% of cereal launches last year had chocolate in them.




SUPPORT FAIR TRADE

Although 'Fair Trade chocolate' may be a relatively new movement, the conditions that it tries to prevent are not. When you take a bite into that luscious chocolate bar, source of ecstatic pleasure, do you stop to think about who grew the cacao that made your chocolate fantasy possible? Possibly one of the more than 15,000 child slaves working on cacao farms in west Africa. Does that chocolate still taste good? The statistics are sobering, yet large chocolate manufacturers still insist that, because of the way cocoa is traded at global markets, it is impossible for them to tell which cacao is grown by slaves and which isn't. Estimates show that up to 40% of cocoa is slave grown.

How to support Fair Trade Chocolate

1) Look for products that are certified Fair Trade chocolate When farmers and laborers are paid a fair price for the products they produce, rather than being exploited for cheap labor, that is considered “Fair Trade.” Since they are paid a fair wage, producers can avoid cost-cutting practices that sacrifice quality and are destructive to the environment.Fair Trade chocolate certification is based on the standards set forth by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, a consortium of trade groups throughout the world who establish the criteria for all Fair Trade products, including Fair Trade chocolate. A similar movement is called Equi-Trade.

3) Demand that your chocolate manufacturers and elected representatives take action to ensure that cacao is produced without slavery. Learn more about how to do this by visiting Global Exchange, an organization that offers many ways to help ensure fair labor standards worldwide.

4) Buy organic chocolate Organic and Fair Trade chocolate really go hand in hand, and you will find that many organic products are Fair Trade and vice versa. Hopefully it already makes sense to you that spraying crops with pesticides and then harvesting and consuming those crops means you are eating pesticides. So that’s one reason to buy organic. Also, because organic farms are routinely inspected in order to maintain their organic certification, it is more difficult for them to exploit their workers without it being noticed.

5) Adopt a chocolate tree Support the efforts of the University of West Indies, whose International Cocoa Gene bank is working to preserve the world’s wild cocoa varieties.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THE FUTURE OF FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE, ONE BITE AT A TIME.


Before reading this post, were you aware that our planet was heading towards a global chocolate shortage ?

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From now on will you support the 'Fair Trade Chocolate' Movement ?

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References:

International Cocoa Organization, icco.org

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/chocolate/the-history-of-chocolate.asp

http://cocoarunners.com/explore/bean-to-bar/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/09/26/no-more-bacon-high-costs-of-feed-means-move-over-bacon-theres-something-leaner/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/21/cocoa-crisis-world-chocolate-stash-melting-away

http://www.chocolate-source.co.uk/index.htm

http://facts-about-chocolate.com/fair-trade-chocolate/

Photo Credits:

https://images.google.com/

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    • Rabadi profile image

      19 months ago from New York

      A world without chocolates is a sad world, I truly enjoyed reading this informative article and hoping that we could find a way to preserve chocolate. You earned a new follower :)

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 21 months ago from Shimla, India

      Thank you

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 22 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      3 decades in the candy business at this end. Lots or great information that brings all of us up to date.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 23 months ago from Shimla, India

      Absolutely :)

    • profile image

      Glenis Rix 23 months ago

      Nice hub Akriti - confectioners in the UK are already putting less chocolate into their products but I'm sure none of us will starve without the luxury of chocolate in our lives. Perhaps we could think about donating the money that we save to those who go to bed hungry every night.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 23 months ago from Shimla, India

      Thank you :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 23 months ago from Northern California, USA

      This is all very fascinating. I know chocolate is precious in my life, but I didn't know that at one time it was restricted to the higher ups of society. It's difficult to imagine there would ever be a shortage of chocolate, but I guess I can see it now, knowing how chocolate is being elevated to the level of a medicinal ingredient and a fix for almost everything. Your hub about chocolate is very well-researched, formatted, and full of interesting information. I truly enjoyed reading this hub about the chocolate shortage.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Yep we need to be aware.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Oh no, a shortage of chocolate, that can't be true. I wouldn't want to live without it. Well, maybe I'll continue to live, but I wouldn't like it. Hopefully this will turn around. Maybe if we keep buying it someone will get the idea that the cocoa bean still has to be grown. Thanks for all the information in this hub. Voted up.

      Blessings to you.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thank you for your thoughtful feedback.

    • Candle Reviews profile image

      Candle Reviews 2 years ago

      I sure hope there isn't a true shortage, and that if something will be done to change things. It is hard to imagine a world without chocolate, or even just a lot less of it. Perhaps the awareness will help. Thank you for sharing a very well done hub, which is also very thorough, on the amazing topic of chocolate. I loved all the pictures and there is so much to be learned.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      A lot of us will.

    • Ana Kolomeka profile image

      Ana Kolomeka 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I LIVE for chocolate! If it goes, I will DIE!!!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      It isn't about chocolates alone. It's about depleting resources.

    • profile image

      iku2e 2 years ago

      i really don't eat choclates also I am happy if it does so :P

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thanks :)

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

      Well, this is a shame! I have an ounce of pure, dark chocolate with my morning coffee every day! Voted up, useful and interesting! :)

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Divya Sarjolta 2 years ago

      Very informative and comprehensive piece. Well done !

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Actually they will rise beyond expectation in the future. Some thing on the lines of Caviar.

      I appreciate your feedback.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      Manufacturers exploiting the farmers has led to the underinvestment in the farmland and the farmers also looking at more profitable crops. It is a crisis born of greed by big chocolate makers and their desire to keep prices as low for consumers while still growing their own profit margins. Chocolate prices need to rise to make cocoa production viable.

      A very interesting hub.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thank you :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Nooooo! Say it ain't so! Oil shortages are one thing but chocolate shortages are quite another. Those farmers need to realize the power they potentially have (rather than growing corn). This is such a well done hub! Voted up and more!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thanks

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great presentation! Informative and interesting. Voted up!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thanks:)

      I hope we start taking our resources seriously.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 2 years ago

      Life without chocolate, that would be unbearable, a fenomanel hub, brilliantly detailed, very well done indeed, thanks for sharing, voted up, Lee

    • profile image

      Rohit Kumar Gond 2 years ago

      I never thought of this topic.. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to read.. I will try my best to share this topic on social sites..

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Hey thanks. It is because of readers like you that i remain motivated to write better.

    • Mike Welsh profile image

      Mike 2 years ago from Wales, United Kingdom

      This is what you call 'Epic content' .A simply fantastic hub. Voted up and shared.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thanks a ton @Buildreps @cam8510 :-)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Because of your excellent and thorough article, I now know everything there is to know about chocolate. :) This is a great article that tells the story of chocolate from beginning to what we hope is not the end of chocolate. voted up and shared.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      This Hub is a masterpiece. I didn't read it totally, that was too much for me, so I scanned it. Beautiful details about the types of beans and how chocolate is made. Wonderful!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      I know ;)

      But jokes apart, we need to start using our resources judiciously :)

      Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      stevbonhage 2 years ago

      Ui ui ui ... That's not good! A world full with women without choclate... ai ai ai ;) Nice post Akriti!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Thank you.

    • Rota profile image

      Rota 2 years ago

      What a great and detailed hub you wrote. I love the way it is so well laid out.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Prior Knowledge of the subject.

      Good writing Skills

      References for including important facts.

    • Anil Nathta profile image

      anil nathta 2 years ago from shimla

      WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE WAYS TO WRITE SUCH BIG AND GOOD CONTENTED HUB ?

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Me too. Chocolate is one thing i just cannot imagine living without. Thanks for reading.

      @Anil Nathta @poetryman6969 Thank you very much.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Akriti. Very interesting article. I love chocolate and would be very disappointed if there was a shortage. Loved the history lesson on chocolate.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      I hope so too. But we'll have to start making efforts now.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure my friend. I hope not, since I'm a devout chocoholic, though I did give it up for Lent.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Voted up as the single most informative piece of literature I have come across on the subject of chocolate.

      Cocoa and chocolate are hallmarks of civilization.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image
      Author

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Actually it will and if it doesn't chocolate will become an extremely expensive commodity. Something on the lines of Caviar. Thanks for the vote.

    • Anil Nathta profile image

      anil nathta 2 years ago from shimla

      YOU ARE VERY CREATIVE AND YOU HAVE INTELLIGENT MIND

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This was an interesting hub about the chocolate shortage--I'm glad it won't happen in the good old USA. Great facts about the history of chocolate. Voted up!