Chocolate lovers could be facing a global shortage of cocoa

Challenges in the world’s major cocoa production areas are resulting in a growing shortage of this sought-after commodity.

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Speaking on Eyewitness News’ ‘The Money Show’ recently, Paul Raphaely, co-founder of NoMU Brands, said that chocolate purists could expect to pay more for their fix until at least 2020.

Raphaely said that over the past three to four years many West African cocoa producers had increasingly converted their existing cocoa plantations to other more profitable crops. At the same time, South America’s cocoa farmers continued to struggle with the devastating effects of the frosty pod rot disease in their plantations.

A number of major cocoa-buying companies were now working closely with West Africa’s existing and past cocoa producers to try and turn their fortunes around. However, the results of these efforts were expected to only initially start being seen from around 2020, said Raphaely.

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Nestlé South Africa agreed that there were “structural imbalances in the global cocoa market, namely of demand outpacing supply”.

“Our cocoa is sourced centrally and through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan which was launched in 2009,” said spokesperson, Motshidisi Mokwena. “Nestlé has been working closely with cocoa farmers to help improve the environmental, social and financial sustainability of cocoa farming.”