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Chocolate Giant Warns of Worldwide Shortage
November 22, 2014

Chocolate supply could be limited in the next few years, and climate change could be partly to blame.

The world's largest chocolate manufacturing company, Switzerland's Barry Callebaut Group, is warning of a potential shortage of cocoa by 2020. Cocoa, one of the most familiar ingredients in chocolate, is grown in South America, Asia, and western Africa, but most of the world's cocoa is grown in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.

Recent climate projections for that area of the world are for a nearly 4-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperatures by 2050. The higher the temperature, the more water evaporates and the less is available for cocoa trees.

Cocoa harvesters around the world have, in recent years, battled against fungal diseases as well, with Brazil's cocoa crop being hit particularly hit hard not that long ago.

Prices of cocoa have increased 60 percent since 2012. Demand for chocolate in 2013 was 70,000 metric tons more than supply. Projections are that that the gap between demand and supply will only widen in the next few years, with a critical point reached in just six years, in 2020.

Other chocolate makers, among them Mars, have issued similar warnings in recent weeks.

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