Chocolate as a High Commodity: The Rising Cost of Cocoa

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

Have you ever wondered just how precious cocoa, the lovely bean that creates the sweetest treats, really is? Well in today's day and age, cocoa is costing the industry a whole lot of loot. Neena Rai and Leslie Josephs report that this tasty treat is recovering for an 'all-time 3-year low'.

As bids were placed to purchase the beans for the 2012-2013 crops, just a couple of days ago it's now that we realize just how precious this cargo is. The price of cocoa this quarter skyrocketed at $2,300 a ton on the ICE Futures US exchange. With a 3.4% increase from the last trading session, the rise in cocoa was all thanks to the somewhat stronger economy the US has seen at the start of the year. Major commodity firms such as Cargill Inc., Armajaro Holdings, Barry Callebaut AG and Olam International Ltd., are somewhat ready to leap at purchasing this product, yet the bidding war was silenced as to who actually purchased any cocoa.

Companies across America are uncertain in purchasing this commodity as the Ivory Coast's government devised a plan to 'overhaul the industry and ensure a floor price for famers'. By doing so, the government hopes to create a more balanced economy for Ivory Coast's cocoa workers.

With the Ivory Coast being the source of over one-third of cocoa supply to the world, there is hope the government's plan will create a better life for Ivory Coast cocoa workers. So not to worry, you can dive into a whole lot of chocolate and hot cocoa this winter, just be sure you stock up to ensure your supply of cocoa doesn't run away.

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

Photo: Bill Zimmerman

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