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Cocoa prices are surging, but cocoa farmers are still making a pittance

26 Jun
Cocoa prices are surging, but cocoa farmers are still making a pittance

Quartz

Cocoa prices spiked to $3,118 per tonne ($3,437 per ton) last week—their highest point since 2011. As Quartz has reported, a growing taste for dark chocolate (which requires a higher concentration of cocoa) and China’s swelling appetite for chocolate are driving up cocoa’s price. Chocolate producers fear that a cocoa deficit may be in our future.

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Between poor weather in the Ivory Coast and the elimination of a fertilizer subsidy in Ghana, outputs are down. And despite climbing prices, cocoa still offers iffy incentives for farmers. According to the Financial Times, farmers see just 3% of the value of a chocolate bar; retailers and marketers reap more than half, and the rest goes to buyers, taxes, transport, storage, processors, and manufacturers.

What’s more, cocoa offers the lowest returns of a handful of commodities that grow in similar climates, such as coffee, sugar, and palm oil.

Tropical-commodities-revenues-per-hectare-in-2013-Revenues-per-hectare_chartbuilder no-caption

The industry is ripe for a shift, and stakeholders are starting to…

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