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Patty_Melt's avatar

Have you heard of the cocoa cartel?

Asked by Patty_Melt (16647points) January 6th, 2020

I just heard it on the news. The top two cocoa producers are combining, and have openly reported they will be increasing the cost of chocolate, apparently by a lot. Together, they will have control of a large majority of the world’s chocolate.

What do you think? Can we control ourselves enough to boycott?
How much is too expensive?
Will people turn to other sweets? Will you?
Are there places in the world where cocoa trees can grow, but currently aren’t?

Please weigh in. Pun intentional

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20 Answers

rebbel's avatar

Is one of the two run by Pablo Chocobar?

I’ll let myself out…

snowberry's avatar

What will become of Valentines Day? OMG!

elbanditoroso's avatar

So thinks are looking dark in the chocolate industry. There will be bitter arguments between the parties. They will call each other ‘nuts’ and will try and milk the litigation for as long as they can.

They’ll get some fresh new lawyers who are qualified because they passed the bar exam. Not a bunch of old has-beans.

ragingloli's avatar

Do you know how little the actual farmers make from their work? As long as the higher revenue benefits the farmers, which is unfortunately doubtful, I am fine with that.

Reminds me of when keeping egglaying chicken in tiny cages became illegal and egg prices increased. It did not affect my rate of egg consumption.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I agree that the farmers deserve more, much more, but a bigger cut from the existing profits.
These guys have actually said they will force farmers to withhold cocoa to drive prices up.

Patty_Melt's avatar

It was reported that the price hike will occur in October.
Trying to force a run on sales?

rebbel's avatar

I have stopped eating chocolate about 4 years ago, on recommendation by my urologist (apparently my stones consisted (partly) of a cocoa ingredient).
Last year I did eat a little bit again (no kidney stones since those 4 years).
If I buy it myself, for me, or for my girlfriend, I buy Tony Chocolonely, a fair trade chocolate.

Probably those two giants (and the others, in their footsteps) are struggling, financially….

elbanditoroso's avatar

Now that I think of it, was she a relative of someone in the chocolate industry?

Were they working on chocolate-flavored perfumes?

Coco Chanel’s Cocoa Cartel?

KNOWITALL's avatar

We have a company here in Missouri that includes a transparency report if anyone’s looking for a chocolate supplier that takes care of the farmers.

Patty_Melt's avatar


Are they really charging nine dollars US currency for a single bar of chocolate?

Patty_Melt's avatar

Bandit, I am SURE you can do better than that last one.

Your first post was smooth and sweet.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Patty_Melt Yep, but you can feel good knowing it’s responsible buying. :) Always a trade off, sister.

Patty_Melt's avatar

That’s quite a bit of trade. I think I will be switching to rice krispies if the chocolate market goes airborne.

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Patty_Melt's avatar

I just think the fairness is at least in part, coming from the wrong pockets.

Slave labor still alive and kicking in Africa.

Chocolate is easy enough to get, and the farmers and workers get much less than their share. I think there is some middle man profits which may be more than they should be. The talk was that they plan to force farms to hold the beans. That won’t do much for them.
It looks like chocolate is about to become a product for the wealthy. If that happens, it will change a lot of products in the states. No more chocolate cake, except at gourmet dining establishments.
Chocolate candy will sale back to Godiva, Sees, and the like. Kids will grow up smacking on gummies and hard candies, and swear we are lying when we claim that chocolate candy used to be available at every grocery store and in gas stations.
A big price jump will make Snickers and Ho Ho’s a brief mention in history books.
A tax on tea made our founding fathers switch to coffee.

Well, maybe it is all just talk. Maybe farmers will get a better deal some other way.
Yes, I agree they deserve more.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@PattyMelt Pretty sure I’ll fight for it. Ha!

Pinguidchance's avatar

The price of chocolate isn’t exactly going to hell in an easter handbasket.

Current cocoa futures are flat to declining; prices (in actively traded months) have hovered close to USD2500 per ton despite the June 2019 “cartel” announcement that they wont sell below USD2600.

If they want to make significantly more money from cocoa production they would need to set up processing plants, cf Indonesia.*0/futures-prices/4184200/cocoa-prices-close-lower-on-abundant-cocoa-supplies


Mar ICE NY cocoa (CCH20) on Monday closed down -35 (-1.39%), and Mar ICE London cocoa #7 (CAH20) closed down -40 (-2.19%).

Cocoa prices retreated Monday with London cocoa falling to a 1-week low. Data showing ample cocoa supplies pressured cocoa prices on Monday. Cocoa supplies from the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, are abundant after the Ivory Coast government reported Monday that Ivory Coast farmers sent 84,067 MT of cocoa to ports during Dec 30-Jan 5, up +20.7% y/y. Also, Ivory Coast farmers sent a cumulative total of 1.251 MMT of cocoa to ports during Oct 1-Jan 5, up +10.7% y/y.

Cocoa prices were also undercut by the Ghana Cocoa Board’s report on Monday that it purchased 496,217 MT of cocoa from farmers during Oct 1— Dec 26, up +8.9% y/y.

Cocoa inventories in storage have tightened as ICE-monitored cocoa inventories have trended lower over the past six months and posted a 3-year low of 2.688 million bags Dec 26.

Another supportive factor for cocoa prices is the start of seasonal Harmattan winds that have reduced beneficial rain in West Africa and may curb Ivory Coast and Ghana cocoa yields. Satellite imagery from the U.S. Climate Prediction Center for Dec 29-Jan 4 showed little or no rainfall across most of the Ivory Coast and Ghana.

The longer-term outlook for reduced cocoa supply from Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, is supportive for cocoa prices. The Ghana Cocoa Board on Sep 13 cut its Ghana 2019/20 cocoa production estimate to a 3-year low of 800,000 MT from a previous estimate of 950,000 due to an outbreak of the swollen shoot cocoa disease that has affected about 16% of Ghana’s cocoa crop.

JLeslie's avatar

I could quit chocolate. I’d rather not, but I’m pretty sure I could. Maybe I’d have a treat now and then.

Good quality chocolates are very pricey already, but I don’t eat them very much. Mostly, I eat popular candy bar brands that are fairly inexpensive. I have a hit chocolate now and then.

I’d miss chocolate cake and brownies the most.

Maybe the companies that buy directly from those 2 producers will switch some of their buying to other producers. I don’t know if other countries have excess cocoa that can meet the demand.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@PC, Wow! I don’t know if you did the research just today, or if you are in the business, but whatever the case it is impressive. You are like a ticker machine, only without all that paper.

I don’t know what swollen shoot cocoa disease is, but it sounds painful.
I hope it isn’t something that does long term damage, or something which would necessitate burning out crops.

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