While eggs were being enjoyed over Easter, they were also coming under threat. We need to protect them now – along with the people who make them. That’s the message from A Rocha UK and its friends in the Climate Coalition.
In a timely blog with an entertaining video (pictured), they have issued the warning that climate change is reducing the areas suitable for growing cocoa – the basis for chocolate.
But chocolate lovers can protect their treat by joining the Climate Coalition and demanding that world leaders respond to the challenge. Concerned consumers are being called to a day of action on 17th June – when A Rocha UK will also help run two ecumenical services as part of the programme.
People across the planet eat a staggering seven million tonnes of chocolate every year. But the pressure is on the land – and the people who farm it – say campaigners. John Mason of the Nature Conservation Research Council in Ghana, predicted in 2010 that ‘in 20 years chocolate will be like caviar’. It would become so expensive, ‘the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it’.
Of course, there are greater concerns than chocolate. But the coalition warn that if climate change remains unchecked, cocoa production could diminish, and prices will rise. Chocolate could become an expensive luxury, having a serious impact on cocoa farmers. The coalition claims that by 2020, we could be one million tonnes short of the cocoa we need to satisfy the global lust for chocolate. By 2060, half the cocoa-producing countries in West Africa could be too hot to grow it any more.
Growers have noticed the impact already. ‘There’s much uncertainty about the weather – we can’t depend on the seasons any more,’ said Bolivian cocoa farmer Abraham Noza. ‘We don’t know what will happen.’ Cocoa trees flourish in rainy, humid areas near the Equator, like areas of Latin America and West Africa. More than half the world’s chocolate comes from cocoa grown in just two countries – Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
But reduced supply and increasing demand mean rising prices. Often those aren’t passed on to the growers. If climate change reduces suitable land for growth, that means less to sell. Farming families may lose a steady income. However, people can protect what they love from climate change – by asking politicians to act. Those concerned can sign up to the Climate Coalition’s mailing list here.