An industry leader has warned that there is a world shortage of cocoa, which will continue to worsen unless action is taken
More sustainable cocoa supplies are needed to meet growing demand from emerging economies such as China.
But this requires increased pay and living standards for farmers, especially in places such as the Ivory Coast, which produces more than a third of the world's supply of cocoa.
Fiona Dawson, president of Mars Chocolate UK, said, “The global cocoa sector may suffer a one million tonne shortage by 2020 because of the increasing economic and environmental pressures on cocoa farms. It's just not sustainable.
“Despite its global scale and local significance, the Ivorian cocoa sector is under severe pressure due to persistent poverty and political conflicts. Unlike rice or wheat, cocoa is an orphan crop. This means it is regionally important but receives little attention from research networks, despite its significance. Yields have not increased to the same rate as other crops, incomes are low and poor farmers have limited access to new tools for knowledge,” she added.