According to a terrifying new study the world is heading for a ‘chocolate deficit’ that could even see supplies run completely dry.
The Mirror reports that demand for cocoa will soon be at an all-time high as shoppers in developing countries buy more and more of the sweet treat.
However, according to a report titled Destruction by Chocolate it seems that supply is slowing down due to poor farming methods driving the planet towards a deficit where demand outstrips supply
The report found that the typical western consumer eats an average of 286 chocolate bars a year. For those 286 bars, producers have to plant ten cacao trees to make the cocoa and the butter – the two key ingredients in chocolate production.
Since the 1990s, more than a billion people from China, Indonesia, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union have entered the market for cocoa.
But despite the increased demand, supply has not kept up and stockpiles of cocoa are dwindling fast.
Doug Hawkins from research firm Hardman Agribusiness said:
More than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material.
All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.
It does sound like there is a glimmer of hope for chocolate lovers though as South America are reported to be developing new methods of farming which could solve the problem.
Mr Hawkins said:
We are seeing in Latin America, particularly in Ecuador, farmers who are saying, ‘Let’s bring it into the 21st century, let’s rethink this crop’.
Let’s hope so.