Cocoa: A Bittersweet Supply Chain #infographic

Cocoa: A Bittersweet Supply Chain #infographic

The bean-to-bar cocoa supply chain is a bittersweet one. Although the end product is something most of us enjoy, it comes at a human cost as well.

Based on how much cocoa comes from West Africa, it is likely that most of the chocolates we eat have a bit of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana in them. The $130B chocolate industry relies on cocoa farming for the supply of chocolate's primary ingredient. However, many cocoa growers make less than $1 per day.

The above graphic shows the main trade flows of cocoa and lets us dig deeper into its global supply chain.

The Netherlands is not only the largest importer of beans, but also the largest processor and fourth largest exporter of chocolate products with an annual grinding capability of 600,000 tons.

Belgium, which imports cocoa beans from producing countries and exports them throughout Europe, is another primary supply chain country. It is also the site of the world's largest chocolate factory, helping its annual chocolate exports worth $3.1 billion.

The World Bank has set the extreme poverty rate at $1.90 / day. In Ghana, cocoa farmers make $1 a day, while those in Côte d'Ivoire make around $0.78 a day, both significantly below extreme poverty levels.

Farmers are often unable to bear the cost of cocoa cultivation as a result of low incomes. In return, they employ children who do not have access to education, are exposed to dangerous working conditions and receive little or no pay.

To make matters worse, cocoa farming is primarily responsible for deforestation and illegal farming in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, adding environmental issues to the mix.

These interrelated problems call for action, but what is being done to fix them?

Mars, Nestlé, and Hershey, some of the world's largest manufacturers of chocolate, have made several attempts over the past two decades to eradicate child labor in cocoa production, but have not accomplished their objectives.

Cocoa: A Bittersweet Supply Chain #infographic

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