Endangered cocoa


Within twenty years, chocolate could become rare and very expensive: the economic crisis and the hunt for profit threaten the cultivation of one of the most loved plants in the world. And you? How much would you be willing to pay for a chocolate bar? (Focus.it 22 November 2010)

The news is of worrying ones: within 20 years the chocolate could become a rare delicacy. This was stated a few days ago by the Cocoa Research Association, which is a worldwide recognized authority on this topic. In the last 6 years the price of cocoa has more than doubled and the experts do not hide their concerns.

This plant grows only in a very narrow range, within 10 ° of latitude from the equator, and in fact only in developing countries. According to the British Independent newspaper, the governments of these countries do not offer any incentive to cocoa farmers, who find it impossible to replace the plants as they age and die.

Better the cocoa money
And not even the efforts of the giants of the sector seem to serve: for example Mars Inc sequenced the cocoa genome some time ago with the aim of developing more resistant and productive shrubs. But even the best plants have to deal with the interests of farmers who increasingly decide to abandon the cultivation of sweet fruit in favor of soy, genetically modified wheat and oil palm, much more profitable than cocoa because it is used in the food industry and in the production of biofuels .
According to Tony Lass, president of the Cocoa Research Association, small cocoa farmers do not earn more than 80 cents a day, and so either they decide to convert to more profitable crops or even change jobs, moving to the city and leaving the countryside.
The result? Within 20 years the chocolate will be like caviar and, if you find it, it could cost the tablet between 10 and 20 euros.