On a small cocoa plantation in the southwest of Ivory Coast, a group of men hack away at the yellow and red fruit used to make chocolate…The farmers race against time, working tirelessly on individual plots of land to collect as many cocoa beans as possible during the West African country’s main harvest season, between October and March…A smaller harvest begins in April. However, erratic rains caused by climate change have dampened the group’s spirits as some fear they will harvest less than expected…
Cocoa farmers in the region are on the “front lines of the climate crisis”, according to West Africa director of the Rainforest Alliance, Siriki Diakite. And when their harvests suffer, so do their livelihoods.
This is further compounded by how little they are paid per kilogramme for their crop, something the Ivorian government has been trying to tackle as it fails to force the world’s multibillion-dollar chocolate industry to pay farmers fairer cocoa prices…
Ivory Coast produces around 45 percent of the world’s cocoa beans, but receives only around four percent of the chocolate industry’s estimated annual worth of $100bn.
Millions of cocoa farmers in the country survive on an average of just 78¢ a day, according to the World Economic Forum.
I honestly doubt many readers of this economic tale will waste time…and a few calories…pretending to be surprised.