"We're running out of chocolate" is a lie!

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th November 2014
Recent news about chocolate deficits are exaggerated, according to Barry Callebaut chocolate. Handmade chocolatesIf you’ve looked around the Internet recently, you may have seen the bone-chilling headline “We’re Running Out of Chocolate!” Publications like The Washington Post and The Daily Mail say the warning came from the two big chocolate makers Mars and Barry Callebaut. But Barry Callebaut never said such a thing. Raphael Wermuth, head of media relations for Barry Callebaut chocolate said the figure of  a 1 million metric ton deficit by 2020 never came from them, and that it is based on incorrect data. “This is based on an old estimation done by the industry back in 2010,” he said. Since Friday, websites have been reporting a ‘chocolate deficit’, where people are eating more chocolate than can be grown. The Washington Post reports that chocolate-makers warn we are in the midst of “the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years”. Last year, we ate roughly more than 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than was produced. The reported projection has been that by 2020, deficit will increase to 1 million metric tons, and that by 2030, the deficit will reach 2 million metric tons. People have been running to their chocolate bunkers ever since, but the fact is that the whole thing is overblown. According to Raphael, the figure was created from the assumption that the cocoa supply would stay as it was, with no increase. The demand was then projected up to the year 2020 based on annual growth rates. But crucially, Raphael added, “There was nobody talking of a deficit of 2 million by 2030! I don’t know where this figure is coming from!”Lieven Looten's dessert with Callebaut chocolate Is there any truth to the figure then? Barry Callebaut believe that there definitely will be a cocoa deficit by 2020. However, they think it will be significantly less than the 1 million tons predicted in 2010, thanks to the sustainability programmes that have been gaining traction in the industry. One of these programmes is CocoaAction, coordinated by the World Cocoa Foundation. This is a plan, signed by senior executives from 12 of the world’s largest chocolate and cocoa companies, to accelerate actions to make cocoa farming in the Côte d’Ivoire, one of the world’s top chocolate-producing countries, sustainable. More recent figures, which the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) released in June, suggest a deficit of around 100,000 metric tons in 2020 – a concern, sure, but not quite the chocopocalypse being suggested. By Stuart Armstrong

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th November 2014

"We're running out of chocolate" is a lie!