On World Chocolate Day the ongoing North/South extraction exploitation should be enough to give consumers indigestion.
Let’s pause and look at some figures. Swiss and Belgian chocolate companies are marketing themselves as the gold-standard in chocolate confectionary but how many cocoa beans do those countries produce?
70 per cent of the five million tonnes of chocolate produced every year comes from the West African countries of Ivory Coast and Ghana.
In a global sector worth US$130.56 billion in 2021, Ghana received US$1.28 billion and the Ivory Coast US$3.52 billion for growing, harvesting and packing their cocoa beans.
Quick fag-packet maths shows the combined income for the raw materials is at US$4.8 billion which is approximately 3.7% of the total market worth. The price of the cocoa beans is set by an external body and not by the farmers, or the workers who remain in poverty despite their vital contribution to the billion dollar industry.