If you like to nibble on chocolate, you should start thinking about stockpiling a secret supply because the world is running out of the key ingredient – cocoa.
Chocolate industry experts are seriously warning that our sweet dreams could soon become a nightmare.
Cocoa is the basic ingredient of chocolate, but world supplies are diminishing.
One of the problems is everyone likes chocolate so much that globally, we are eating into cocoa reserves. Last year, the world ate 70,000 tonnes more cocoa than was harvested.
Two big names in the world of chocolate are causing a stir with their warnings that crunch time is approaching for sweet eaters.
Barry Callebaut, a Swiss firm churning out chocolate has voiced concerns about sustainable supplies of cocoa in the company’s latest annual report.
USA chocolate giant Mars reckons that international cocoa production will fall short by as much as 1 million tonnes by 2020 and 2 million by 2030.
Not only will farmers grow less cocoa than consumers want, but that shortage of supply will push up prices making chocolate almost worth its weight in gold.
Cocoa prices are already at a three-year peak and are likely to climb even higher.
Chocolate producers have challenged science to come up with some answers.
Horticulturalists have devised ways of making cocoa grow faster to give extra crops to satisfy consumer cravings for that shot of chocolate. The trouble is, reports news service Bloomberg, this fast-growing cocoa just does not taste as good.
The Ebola crisis ravaging West Africa’s prime cocoa growing belt is not helping either. Ghana and Ivory Coast produce more than half of the world’s cocoa and both are ravaged by Ebola.
Ebola is a humanitarian disaster killing thousands, but the deadly virus means plantations are lying idle and growing wild. The precious crop that is there is unpicked because workers are ill or scared to gather in groups that could help the disease to spread.
Unfortunately cocoa is not the only foodstuff suffering a supply problem.
Climate change is blamed for drying up supplies of maple syrup and heating up the cool mountain slopes needed for coffee to flourish.
Honey is another sweet foodstuff suffering as worldwide, the bee population is in decline.
And one of the world’s most popular foods – the banana – is under attack from the fungus Panama Disease, which almost wiped out the plants in the 1950s.