Understanding the Rise in Cocoa Prices

Courtney Steele

Tetiana Bykovets H22 N 9s8 A Uw Unsplash

Over the past 6-8 months we have seen a significant rise in cocoa prices. These issues have not just affected chocolatiers and confectionery companies but also consumers, who may soon find themselves paying more for their favourite treats.

There are a multitude of factors contributing to the cocoa supply crisis; including change-induced weather patterns, diseases, and socio-economic issues in key cocoa-producing regions.

One of the key influences in cocoa price fluctuations is the balance between supply and demand. Our ingredients specialist consultant Sam Gilmour comments,

"Despite rising costs, usage of cocoa ingredients is up 2% globally for food and beverage NPD”.

A significant amount of chocolate is grown in regions close to the equator and any disruptions to the supply chain, whether due to adverse weather conditions, pests and diseases, or geopolitical tensions, can swiftly impact prices.

In recent years, climate change has emerged as a factor affecting cocoa production. Erratic weather patterns: including droughts and excessive rainfall, have led to issues in key cocoa-producing regions. Additionally, the increasing global demand for chocolate and cocoa products, particularly in emerging markets like China and India, has put strain on the limited supply.

The cocoa industry has come under scrutiny in recent years due to concerns surrounding sustainability, ethical practices, and labour rights. Issues such as child labour, deforestation, and poor working conditions in cocoa-producing regions have prompted consumers and regulatory bodies to demand greater transparency and accountability from companies operating in the cocoa supply chain. Efforts to address these concerns, such as certification programs and sustainable sourcing initiatives, often entail additional costs for producers, which can ultimately translate into higher prices for cocoa.

In conclusion, As the chocolate industry copes with these challenges, finding sustainable solutions and supporting cocoa farmers is crucial steps in ensuring the future availability of chocolate. Despite this test, industry leaders are staying positive. We spoke with Julia Darvill, UK MD at Puratos to get her take on the issue,

"Indeed, the cocoa market is testing for us all but I genuinely believe that as long as we are authentic with customers and our true partners, we will keep good long term relationships throughout this storm. We must not forget that all of us; customer, supplier & consumer have a responsibility to cocoa farmers & the sustainability of this incredible source of food joy"

The Next Generation Cacao Foundation is an essential component of the commitment Puratos have to sustainable cocoa sourcing. It serves as a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the social, economic, and environmental development of cocoa farming communities participating in their Cacao-Trace™ program."

We are pleased to be supporting businesses within the UK who take an ethical stance on navigating this issue. We pride ourselves on continuing to broaden our understanding of the challenges facing all of our clients and offer clear communication with them in order to maintain the integrity and authenticity in the service we provide. If you are looking for a new role or seeking talent for your business, get in touch, our team will be delighted to assist you.