Ebola Threatens The World’s Chocolate Supply

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The ebola virus may be not just hitting our shores here in the U.S., but also our chocolate supply. The Ivory Coast is the world’s largest producer of cacao, the raw ingredient used in chocolate bars, cake, etc. Although the West African nation of about 20 million has yet to experience a single case of Ebola, the outbreak could raise prices.

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Ivory Coast shut down its borders with Liberia and Guinea, putting a major strain on the workforce needed to pick the cacao beans.

According to POLITICO, more than 8,000 have been diagnosed with Ebola in those two countries, and nearly 4,000 have died.

And the world’s chocolate makers and market have taken notice.

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The World Cocoa Foundation is now working to collect large donations from members for its Cocoa Industry Response to Ebola Initiative.

The WCF plans to announce details Wednesday, during its annual meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jack Scoville, an analyst and vice president at the Chicago-based Price Futures Group, tells POLITICO that prices on cocoa jumped from their normal trading range of $2,000 to $2,700 per ton, to as high as $3,400 in September over concerns about the spread of Ebola to Ivory Coast.
Prices have fluctuated down to $3,030 and then back to $3,155 in the past couple of weeks.
Click here for more information on Ebola patients, outbreaks and protection methods.