Chocolate is a delicious product that brings joy to chocolate lovers. It also creates employment and value for many people and countries across the globe. There are, however, structural issues in the chocolate value chain:
- Low productivity on cocoa farms as a result of poor agricultural practices, nutrient depleted soil, and aging cocoa trees is keeping many farmers in a state of poverty.
- Poverty prevents cocoa farmers from investing in their farms and new practices to increase productivity that would boost their incomes.
- In addition, poverty keeps farmers from hiring professional workers, forcing them to rely on their family members, including their children, to work the fields.
As a result, the future generation of cocoa farmers, deprived of their childhood and education, will not be empowered to break this vicious cycle.
And sustainable chocolate requires more than sustainable cocoa. It requires achieving zero net deforestation and curbing carbon emissions for the production of any chocolate ingredient or chocolate product.
In order to secure the future of chocolate, all the actors in the chocolate value chain need to unite behind a common ambition and step up their efforts to address these structural issues.