The Ebola Epidemic Might Threaten The World’s Chocolate Supply

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Everyone is aware that the Ebola epidemic is a horrible and terrifying world heath crisis.

But the deadly disease may be harmful in more ways than one: Experts say the virus’ deadly effect on Western African soil may, in turn, have a negative effect on the cocoa industry.

In simple terms? Ebola is threatening our chocolate supply.

Sixty percent of the world’s cocoa is currently farmed in countries hardest hit by Ebola, including the Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Farmers there need further investments to continue growing at current rates, but funding is limited (likely because global funds are going toward containing the Ebola epidemic).

In addition, there’s concern that fewer investors are going to be willing to put money into the farms in West Africa because of the virus’ spread.

Prices for chocolate are currently at the highest rates since 2010, at $2,989 per metric ton. Experts say these prices will continue to soar and, as a result, most commercial companies will have to adapt their product.

Nestle and Mars are hoping to invest a total of $1 billion back into the cocoa industry, so all may not be lost — but you can still expect to see more candy bars bulked up with nuts and dried fruits and less of the pure, unadulterated stuff.

via The Telegraph, Photo Courtesy: EC/ECHO/Jean-Louis Mosser

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