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Be warned: A chocolate shortage may be looming


Oh dear lord we might run out of chocolate in the next 30 years
(Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Oh, great. More bad news.

Experts predict the world could run out of chocolate in the next thirty years – all thanks to global warming.

Cacao plants, which can only grow under specific conditions with high humidity and abundant rain, will struggle to survive the increase in temperature predicted over the next few decades.

There’ll be a loss in moisture that scientists don’t believe will be made up for by rainfall.

Officials in chocolate-producing countries such as Ghana will be forced to choose whether to push cacao production areas uphill into mountainous terrain, which could cause issue for wildlife. They’ll have to either disrupt dying ecosystems or give up on chocolate.

This, plus last year’s predictions of a chocolate deficit thanks to excessive consumption, points to a looming struggle to produce enough chocolate to meet the demand.

Stockpiles of cocoa are decreasing, our current methods of farming aren’t equipped to maintain production, and changes in the environment will make it even harder for plants to grow. This could all add up to a deficit of 100,000 tonnes of chocolate a year, according to one expert.

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‘Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material,’ Doug Hawkins, from Hardman Agribusiness, told the Mail Online.

‘All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.’

More: Chocolate

The good news is that any chocolate shortage won’t hit us out of nowhere in 2018. It’ll be years before all the difficulties have an effect, and there’s still time to save our cocoa.

Don’t panic-buy a load of chocolate bars because you’re worried they’ll be gone next week. They won’t be. Just maybe think about the environmental impact of your actions and go for fair trade chocolate bars to make sure the people who made your chocolate bar are getting properly compensated. Easy.

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