If you have a sweet tooth, beware: the world's chocolate supply might be running uncomfortably low.
According to the Washington Post's Wonkblog, "chocolate deficits" are becoming more and more common, as consumption is exceeding the supply of available cocoa being produced by farmers — a phenomenon that experts claim could actually worsen.
Major manufacturers Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut warn that the deficits could monumentally expand over the next two decades. Consider that the world consumed more cocoa than was produced last year, yielding a deficit of 70,000 metric tons.
That number could expand into the millions by 2030, the companies claim.
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Part of the problem, according to the Wonkblog, is dry weather in West Africa, a fungal disease and the Ebola outbreak — scenarios that have hampered farming and production of cocoa. Many farmers have actually turned away from cultivating the crop and have moved on to more profitable options.
"Demand for chocolate is great," Ashmead Pringle, president of Atlanta-based GreenHaven Commodity Services, told Bloomberg last December. "A lot of the world population is moving to the middle class and will have more money to spend, in particular inemerging markets and Asia."
These dynamics mixed with a growing love for chocolate, particularly in Asia, are creating a troubling situation, though Mic does highlight some of the steps that are being taken to combat the problem, including new hybrid plants that purportedly create more cocoa than normal crops.
There's also a fungus-resistent strain that is being used.
Read more about the chocolate deficit here.
(H/T: Washington Post)
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