There are a lot of incredibly negative stories in the news this week. While I have my opinions on ISIS, the Michael Brown riots, and Thanksgiving travel woes, as part of the Dallas Refrigerated Logistics Company we will focus on some shocking news that pertains to our business.
If you haven’t heard, there is threat of a chocolate shortage.
I’ll give you a moment to cease your screaming and pull yourself together.
Suppliers and creators of the world’s most popular chocolate have said that by 2020 there will be a chocolate deficiency. The world’s demand will outweigh the supply by 1million metric tons. Last year, the demand outweighed the supply by 70,000 metric tons. That was bad, but cocoa was stockpiled, so we made it through without a hitch. Unless, of course, you call paying nearly double what we paid for chocolate ten years ago a “hitch”. In 2007, the price of cocoa was $1,465 a ton. Six years later, the price blew up to $2,736 a ton. Pretty soon, our Refrigerated Logistics Company Dallas might have to join the chocolate black market. It certainly would be a profitable venture!
So what is causing this impending chocolate shortage? There are a number of reasons why suppliers and growers believe chocolate will soon be a rarity. First, there are the disease risks that plague cocoa growth. A fungal disease called frosty pod (named after its appearance of a brown legion covered in white, cottony powder) started 40 years ago in Costa Rica, and has slowly been taking over many of Costa Rica’s cocoa farms. Witches’ broom is another disease that has taken out many of Brazil’s cocoa plants. While neither of these infestations have made it to West Africa- the world’s leading producer of cocoa, with 70% of all chocolate production coming from here- other more devastating diseases have. Ebola has caused a real fear in purchasers of chocolate. Not that they are worried they will become infected (trust our Dallas Food Logistics Company when we say you cannot get Ebola from a chocolate bar), but rather, purchasers are concerned the farmers who grow cocoa will close shop if the disease comes too close.
Another reason for the projected chocolate shortage is drought. Without proper irrigation, cocoa plants are dying off. Additionally, many cocoa farmers are jumping ship because cocoa is not as lucrative a business as rubber or corn. Suppliers also mention climate change as a possible reason for the shortage. Higher temperatures would mean a shorter growing season. However, if you want to argue about climate change, I suggest you start with the folks in Buffalo, NY.
It is true that a shortage could occur just because the demand is growing. As the world grows richer, more people can afford the luxury of chocolate. China, for example, who has a population of 1.4 billion, has also doubled their consumption of chocolate in the last decade. Another emerging market for chocolate is in India. They’re set to become one of the fastest growing confectionary markets in the world. Our Dallas Refrigerated Logistics has found the economics behind chocolate fascinating! It’s interesting to see how much really goes into that little bite of sweetness.
While chocolate makers are worried about a possible shortage, cocoa experts think differently. The reasons for a decline in product are real: disease, drought, demand. However, the experts say the suppliers are way overstating the threat. Our Dallas Refrigerated Logistics Company will let you be the judge. I’ll tell you what, though, if we do go into a chocolate shortage, I’ll be the one in the grocery store throwin’ elbows for that last dark choclate bar.