Cocoa Prices on the Rise Because of Climate Change

Coffee and chocolate are at risk because of the climate shift. By as early as 2050, you may look back on Starbuck's coffee prices and think they were a deal.

In the year 2050, you may not be able to buy a chocolate bar, drink a cup of coffee, or eat chocolate ice cream without paying a hefty fee. Chocolate may live on as an artificial flavor for the masses, but you'll tell your grand kids (or even your kids) how great it was to sit on the couch and demolish a pint of chocolate ice cream. Climate change will drive prices up as crops dwindle in the next few decades.


Global warming and shifting climates are going to put a strain on more than just the economy, but creature comforts that some may take for granted. Sara Yasin of the Global Post wrote a report on how the weather extremes from climate change will alter our way of life in a matter of a few decades that will hit the soft spots of our everyday life. The Barry Callebaut Group, the largest chocolate manufacturer in the world, believes we could see "a potential cocoa shortage by 2020," resulting in price hikes.

Yasin has the numbers to prove it. Reports of chocolate consumption exceeding production, and predictions that the deficit is only going to grow. This demand has caused prices to skyrocket for chocolate, but some nay sayers may point to a higher population with disposable income. However, there are studies tracking a dip in cocoa production from the farms in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.

These countries make up 70 percent of the world's cocoa supply and it's one of West Africa's most important cash crops. There was a study released back in 2011 by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) that reported a bleak future for cocoa:

"There will be areas that remain suitable for cocoa, but only when the farmers adapt their agronomic management to the new conditions the area will experience. There will also be areas where suitability of cocoa increases. Climate change brings not only bad news but also a lot of potential opportunities. The winners will be those who are prepared for change and know how to adapt."

Those who are not equipped for the 3.6 degree Fahrenheit temperature spikes in some areas may be left without enough water to feed their profit plant. Peter Laderach, lead author of the study, explained to Scientific American how important cocoa is to the way of life for these farmers:

"Many of these farmers use their cocoa trees like ATM machines. They pick some pods and sell them to quickly raise cash for school fees or medical expenses. The trees play an absolutely critical role in rural life."

It's possible these farmers will shift to another crop the minute cocoa is no longer producing. But it's not as if cocoa will be gone from the earth entirely, you'll just have to get used to paying more for coffee and chocolate than you're used to—you may even look back at Starbuck's coffee prices and think, they were a good deal.

Read more at Global Post

Photo Credit: Aleshyn_Andrei/Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less