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Chocoholics may have to dig deeper to pay for their favorite treat this festive season as sweet makers face sky-high prices for cocoa butter, the special ingredient that gives chocolate its melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Increased demand from Asia's expanding middle class and a turnaround in sales in big consuming countries have seen butter prices nearly double to more than $7,000 a tonne from $4,000 a tonne six months ago.
With supplies tightening and demand showing no sign of slowing ahead of the Christmas and New Year period, some chocolate makers may have little choice but to pass on the increased costs to consumers.
In the secretive industry, which has only a handful of big players, chocolatiers tightly guard the recipes that distinguish their products, and are equally cautious on prices.
Fair Trade Cocoa and Chocolate
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing their rights of, disadvantaged producers and workers - especially in the South (FINE, 2001).
Fair Trade certified producer organizations must comply with a number of requirements, related to social, economic and environmental developments. In addition, labour conditions in these organizations must follow certain standards.
The essential characteristic of Fair Trade cocoa is that producer organizations receive a higher price for their cocoa beans. The Fair Trade price represents the necessary condition for the producer organizations to have the financial ability to fulfil the above requirements, and to cover the certification fees. It is calculated on the basis of world market prices, plus fair trade premiums. The Fair Trade premium for standard quality cocoa is US$ 150 per tonne. The minimum price for Fair Trade standard quality cocoa, including the premium, is US$ 1,750 per tonne. Other benefits for certified producer organizations are better "capacity building" and "market access".
Presently, cocoa sold with the Fair Trade label still captures a very low share of the cocoa market (0.5%).
never shall they take my chocolate!
then massively raise the prices (just in time for Halloween when you just HAVE to have it). And you WILL pay the prices to get it.
Well this is a kick in the rear for those that depend on some form of chocolate to raise blood sugar in a hurry. Nothing is as good as it once was so why should chocolate be any different. I close my doors and hide on Halloween getting too expensive, sign of the times, oh well.