several studies, chocolate (well, the cocoa we use to make chocolate), is verging on the edge of impossible to get. Or, at least, out of the financial reach of most of those with only average incomes.
Did your heart just stop?
Cocoa crops are disappearing, partially due to the droughts in Western Africa, and partially due to the unfair trade practices and civil unrest in the Ivory Coast. Did you know that most West African farmers spend three years tending a single cocoa plant before it's ready to harvest, and earn about $1 a day for their trouble?They simply can't afford to grow anymore, so they're abandoning their farms and trying to find other means of existence.
The price of wholesale chocolate is about to reach a 30 year high, and according to experts, chocolate will soon be about as expensive as caviar. The price has already jumped up $500-$600 per metric ton.
Have you run to the corner store to stock up on your Hershey's yet?
No more Cafe Mochas, no more chocolate birthday cake, no more Death By Chocolate ice cream. Giving a box of chocolate on Valentine's Day will suddenly have an all new meaning of love. (Keep the chocolate, please, just give me something sparkly, k?) Hershey Kisses will suddenly mean as much, if not more, than the real thing.
(Wouldn't it be ironic if chocolate turns out to be the commodity that finally makes Britain and America care about Africa's politics and trade - their Middle East Oil, so to speak? It happened with diamonds...which are another Valentine's Day gift. Hey, wait a minute, did I just stumble on something important?)