Bakers Journal

News
Nestlé study shows problems facing world cocoa supply


September 25, 2012
By Bakers Journal


Sept. 25, 2012, Canada – A recent survey by Nestlé
found that Canadians know very little about where chocolate comes from or the threats
to the global cocoa supply that need to be addressed to ward off a future
without chocolate.

The study, conducted by Vision Critical for the Nestlé Cocoa
Plan, a global initiative to ensure a sustainable cocoa supply and improve the
lives of small farmers, found that 77 per cent of Canadians would be upset to
wake up in a world without chocolate.

Of the 1,000 Canadians surveyed, 62 per said they could “eat chocolate every
day,” while 58 per cent said that if they had to choose their “last meal” it
would definitely include chocolate. Meanwhile, 68 per cent confided a friend
can “never go wrong” with a gift of chocolate and 39 per cent said chocolate
“goes with every meal”!

Advertisment

Still, despite Canada’s national obsession with chocolate, we remain largely in
the dark about it—and about threats to the global cocoa supply that could make
it an even scarcer luxury. Those include diseased or low-yield crops and
ongoing upheaval.

Almost half of survey respondents (42 per cent) thought most cocoa comes from
Ecuador, while only 27 per cent correctly identified West Africa as the source
of most of the world’s supply. A majority (55 per cent) indicated cocoa comes
from a bush compared with the 27 per cent who rightly knew it grows on trees,
like coconuts. And 59 per cent mistakenly thought that most cocoa comes from
factory farms instead of from small, family-owned operations, where it is grown
and harvested, often under challenging conditions.

“There is no question that while people love chocolate, many have very little
idea of how cocoa is grown or of the challenges facing this valued commodity,”
said Dr. Sergine Diop, general manager of Nestlé’s Research and Development
Centre in Ivory Coast. “Nestlé has partnered with small farmers to improve the
quality and sustainability of cocoa crops in West Africa, and has developed and
will distribute millions of higher-yielding, disease-resistant plantlets to
them, among other proactive, mutually beneficial measures.”

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is a $120-million initiative to improve cocoa
sustainability and the livelihoods of cocoa farmers through a number of
programs including: distributing higher-yielding, disease-resistant plantlets;
providing education for farmers and their families; improving infrastructure in
farming communities; and addressing and eliminating the use of child labour in
the cocoa supply chain.