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Will Chocolate Become the New Caviar?

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John Mason, executive director and founder of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council, has forecast that shortages in bulk production (of cocoa) in Africa will have a devastating effect: "In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won't be able to afford it."


The Independent (UK) writes:

"The minimal rewards [farmers] have historically received do not provide incentives for the time-consuming work of replanting as their trees die off – a task that usually means moving to a new area of canopied forest and waiting three to five years for a new crop to mature."

Add to this the ever-increasing demand for biofuels, which means those who once grew cocoa are now far more interested in growing crops that can be sold for much higher prices.

Thomas Dietsch, research director of ecosystem services at the Earthwatch Organisation, says, "...cocoa is competing for agricultural space with other commodities like palm oil – which is increasingly in demand for biofuels."

Enjoy your Kit-Kat bars now--you may not be able to afford them in the not-too-distant future.
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