news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | November 18, 2014 | 09:21 am IST 

For chocolate lovers, this piece of news might hit like a nightmare. The world might be staring at a potential massive shortfall of chocolate. 

The world's largest chocolate manufacturer, the Switzerland baseBarry Callebaut Group, recently warned of a global deficit of chocolate by 2020, states a report by Mail Online. The 'massive shortfall' 'could reach a million tonnes a year by 2020'.

In just eight years, chocolate prices have skyrocketed, thanks to its ever growing demand. 

From 1993 to 2007, the price of cocoa averaged $1,465 a ton; during the subsequent six years, the average was $2,736 -- an 87 percent increase', states a report by Bloomberg

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( Visitors look at a chocolate sculpture during the 12th Obidos International Chocolate Festival in Obidos village, 80 km north of Lisbon, capital of Portugal, on April 6, 2014; Photo: Xinhua/Zhang Liyun/IANS )

However, due to the 'limited quantities of the fragile crop', and rise in demand for chocolate, manufacturers may have to increase the price further or sell smaller bars for the same price or even add nuts , wafers and fruits to the bars, adds Mail Online. 

"The global cocoa sector may suffer a 1million metric ton shortfall by 2020 because of increasing economic and environmental pressures on cocoa farms around the world", Mail Online quotes the firm as saying. 

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It is not just the demand and supply gap that may give rise to such a situation, but other factors like droughts and diseases too that need to be assessed. The report also states International Cocoa Organization as asserting that as 70 percent of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa and as the region is fighting an Ebola outbreak, the resulting 'chaos and quarantine restrictions' could 'mean global production has dipped by 0.7 per cent'. 

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According to Hershey Co, by 2017 US will be the largest market for chocolate, followed by China, reports BloombergIndia’s consumption of chocolate too has increased from 25,000 tons in 2010 to 40,000 this year, adds the report. 

As Bloomberg points out, that cocoa could be an exhaustible resource hardly makes it to the table of discussion. Are we ready to deal with the threat of cocoa shortfall looming in the future? 



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