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What could be worse than the end of the world? How about a world without chocolate

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World's chocolate shortage continues without any sign of slowing

Some of the world's largest makers of chocolate, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut are warning that an era without chocolate is rapidly approaching the world.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
11/18/2014 (7 years ago)

Published in Home & Food

Keywords: Chocolate, U.S., International, Food, Hershey's, Mars

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Already the world population is out consuming what little cocoa farmers can produce, and currently the world is in the longest chocolate deficit in over 50 years.

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These deficits continue to grow every year.

In 2013 the world ate about 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than was produced. By 2020, this number could be increased 14 times to a deficit of one million tons.

Just ten years later that number could double to two million tons.

So far there appears to be no end in sight.

Dry weather in West Africa has greatly hampered cocoa production; the Ivory Coast and Ghana alone produce more than 70% of the world's cocoa but has seen production levels shrink. Added to all this, the frosty pod fungal infection has taken a great toll too.

This has combined to ensure that cocoa farming is incredibly tough and expensive. Many farmers have switched to more profitable crops like corn.

A growing desire for dark chocolate-which can contain up to 70% cocoa compared to traditional chocolate which contains about 10%-and China's increased consumption is also contributing to the growing problem.

One of the unexpected side effects is that the price of cocoa has climbed nearly 60% since 2012. Chocolate producers have been forced to adjust the price they charge for chocolate, including Hershey's which owns the largest share of the U.S. market at about 44%. Mars, Inc. holds the second largest share at just under 30%.

There are efforts underway to increase chocolate production, if not make it outright cheap and abundant, but there are some drawbacks.

A research group in Central Africa has developed a tree that can produce up to seven times the amount of cocoa beans a traditional tree can, however, doing so apparently compromises the flavor, which may lead to cheaper but blander chocolate in the future.

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