Today is Valentine’s Day and the exchange of heart-shaped chocolates is a tradition for many couples. The price of this customary gift, however, is forecast to increase as cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, faces the challenges of climate change.
Chocolate, a nine-billion-dollar global industry, obtains more than 50% of its cocoa supply from the West African nations of Ghana and Ivory Coast. A recent study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture found that within the next 20 to 40 years, the climate of this region is likely to become too warm to continue growing the fragile cacao trees. In the shorter term, extreme weather events like drought are threatening this sensitive crop. As a result, supplies are likely to fall causing prices to go up.
So, enjoy your chocolate treat this Valentine’s Day and remember that this sweet gift is likely to be more dear in the future.
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