Cocoa: A Bittersweet Supply Chain #infographic


Cocoa: A Bittersweet Supply Chain #infographic

The cocoa supply chain from bean to bar is a bittersweet one. Although the end result is something that most of us appreciate, it also comes at a human cost.

It is possible that most of the chocolates we eat have a bit of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana in them, based on how much cocoa comes from West Africa. For the availability of chocolate's main ingredient, the $130B chocolate industry depends on cocoa farming. Many cocoa growers, however, make less than $1 per day.

The graphic above charts cocoa's major trade flows and helps us to dig deeper into its global supply chain.

Not only is the Netherlands the largest importer of beans, but it is also the biggest processor and the fourth largest exporter of chocolate products, grinding 600,000 tons annually.

Another main supply chain nation is Belgium, which imports cocoa beans from producing countries and exports them throughout Europe. It is also home to the largest chocolate factory in the world, supporting its $3.1 billion worth of annual chocolate exports.

At $1.90 / day, the World Bank has set the extreme poverty threshold. Cocoa farmers make $1 per day in Ghana, while those in Côte d'Ivoire make around $0.78 per day, both significantly below the level of extreme poverty.

As a consequence of low incomes, farmers are sometimes unable to bear the expense of cocoa farming. In exchange, they hire children who do not have access to schooling, are subjected to unsafe working conditions and earn little or no pay.

To make matters worse, in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, cocoa farming is largely responsible for deforestation and illicit farming, adding environmental concerns to the mix.

Such interlinked issues call for action, but what is being done to tackle them?

Over the past two decades, Mars, Nestlé, and Hershey, several of the world's largest chocolate producers, have made many efforts to eliminate child labor in cocoa farming, but have not met their goals.

Cocoa: A Bittersweet Supply Chain #infographic

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