Cocoa has a poverty problem. How can you help?
On this World Chocolate Day, Simran Sethi, author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate (The Slow Loss of Foods we Love), shares insights over on NewFoodEconomy.org on the state of the chocolate market and highlights a few major problems to better understand how we — chocolate lovers —can play a role in solving them.
Almost three-quarters of all cocoa is produced in Africa. But demand is concentrated in countries with the highest standards of living—Europe and the United States—where cocoa and chocolate are largely considered luxury goods
“The challenges we’re facing in cocoa are not very technical,” says Antonie Fountain, founder of the VOICE Network, an association of non-governmental organizations and trade unions working on sustainability in cocoa. “If you would put a bunch of scientists in a room, you could come up with solutions. Of course it will take time, but it’s not that we don’t know how to do it, technically speaking.”
The “it” Antonie is referring to is poverty alleviation. Poverty begets a host of other problems, among them child labor and vast deforestation.