Chocolate. One of those essentials to everyday life. At least for me it is. I never thought of chocolate as something more than just a sweet treat, that I apparently took full advantage of having at any moment I pleased…that was until I went to this discussion at Waterstones book store in Piccadilly.
This week in London it was Chocolate Week.
All the big wigs in the chocolate world come to London to host a festival, as well as speak at different venues and discussions.
The discussion I went to was called “The Cocoa Time Bomb”, the panel of experts discussed things such as Fair Trade, is chocolate is running out of time, and gave some alternatives to Fair Trade, that could be better for the farmers.
The discussion panel consisted of six experts, including one lovely lady, Maricel Presilla, who was nice enough to sit down with me and talk about her experience in the cocoa (or as some call it, cacao) industry.
Maricel is an independent in the cacao world and instead of Fair Trade, she is an advocate for direct trade. Meaning that there is no middle man, so it makes sure that the cocoa farmers get all the money they deserve.
Why should we as consumers care?
Well that is easy.. we should care because behind every chocolate bar there is a farmer and their family who are working hard in cocoa fields to grow and ferment all the delicious cocoa that we put in our chocolate bars.
“There is a face behind every chocolate bar, and I want to see that face and know that when I buy this specific chocolate, that face sees its benefits”, Maricel told me during her interview.
It was truly inspiring to me as a journalist to see such passion in the panel.
With 70% of the world’s cocoa coming from Africa, there are lots of farmers who are getting ripped off, and since the farmers are getting older, it becomes a fear if in 20 years we will even have enough cocoa plantations to have the never ending supply of chocolate we have now.
So the question remains: Is time running out for chocolate? And how much would you pay to make sure chocolate stays around?