Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Scramble To Save The World’s Chocolate Supply

Cocoa beans are pictured in Ghana's eastern cocoa town of Akim Akooko September 6, 2012. REUTERS/KWASI KPODO

Market Watch: The $1 billion scramble to save the world’s chocolate supply

ABANKROM, Ghana -- Yaa Amekudzi bounces along dirt roads in a sport-utility vehicle from one village to the next as part of a $1 billion scramble by the world’s top chocolate makers to fix the industry’s most vexing problem.

Demand for chocolate is stronger than ever, especially now that more consumers in China and India are buying bars and bonbons long considered an unaffordable luxury. But cocoa production is down, including a steep slide last year in Ghana, the second-largest cocoa-growing country. Cocoa prices have jumped nearly 40% since the start of 2012.

As a result, the pressure is on Amekudzi and her team of five employees at Mondelez International Inc. MDLZ, +1.55% , the maker of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars and Oreo cookies, to help cocoa farmers boost their dwindling crop yields.

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CSN Editor: I saw how high the prices for chocolate were this past Christmas. Sighhh .... the days of cheap chocolate appear to be coming to an end.

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