Efforts to improve the lives of impoverished farmers in two of the world’s biggest cocoa-producing countries could mean chocolate lovers pay more for Lindt and other private-label chocolates in future. And prices could surge even further, should the coronavirus pandemic force long-term shutdowns and have an effect on harvests. But the good news for consumers is that this Easter’s chocolate supply will not be affected. Ghana and Ivory Coast, which together produce 65% of the world’s cocoa, last year introduced a surcharge of $400 a ton above the futures price of cocoa — a so-called living income differential — meant to benefit cocoa farmers. Lindt & Sprüngli gets 80% of its cocoa from Ghana, and changing the bean mix in its recipes by switching suppliers now could affect the taste. Company spokesperson Sara Thallner says price rises due to the new surcharge will be felt only in October, when the new season starts. She explains that Lindt & Sprüngli supports the Ghanaian and Ivory Coast governments’ efforts “to contribute to improved livelihoods of cocoa farmers”. At the same time, the company will continue its programme to support its own producers.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE