Cocoa beans: standard price for cocoa beans – VG

Cocoa beans: standard price for cocoa beans – VG

The price of cocoa beans set a new record this week at more than $10,000 per ton. This means a crisis for farmers, and a rise in the cost of chocolate.


When Janet Gyamfi, 52, looks at the landscape outside the farm, she cries.

Last year there were 6,000 cocoa trees here. Now there are less than a dozen left.

“This farm is the only way I can survive,” says Gyamfi.

Reuters visited the city of Giami in Ghana, which together produces more than 60 percent of global cocoa production.

Illegal gold mining, climate change and rapidly spreading diseases have led to a crop crisis.

It appears in the price.

Since the beginning of the year, cocoa prices have risen by 135 percent, according to Agence France-Presse.

Young boys prospect for gold on a cocoa farm.

Major chocolate manufacturers have already announced price increases this year and next.

The head of communications at Norwegian company Mondelez, which produces Freia products, told VG they are monitoring the situation closely.

A worker transports a bag of dried cocoa beans.

The chocolate manufacturer says it faces much higher costs in the supply chain.

– Key ingredients such as cocoa and sugar are reaching record high prices, while other input costs such as energy, packaging and transportation remain relatively high, says communications director Øyvind Olofsen.

Olofsen explains that producing products has therefore become much more expensive than before.

Ghana has 1.38 million hectares of land where cocoa beans are grown.

Chocolate expert Sven Magnus Sørensen says the rise in cocoa bean prices will primarily affect chocolate, which is already cheap.

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– The quality of chocolate is affected to a lesser extent, he tells VG.

The reason is that these high-quality producers often make direct deals at prices that have already been agreed upon – and well above the market price.

Mahama Usmanu (58 years old) is a farmer in Kwaping, eastern Ghana.

Sorensen emphasizes that there usually isn't a lot of actual chocolate in the chocolate you buy at the store.

-It is a small part of the product itself. In Gap and Toprice, for example, there is a thin layer of chocolate around them. Here, producers will probably get creative and try to fill the chocolate with all sorts of other things.

This drone photo shows the devastation of a cocoa farm in western Ghana.

Cocoa production is also negatively affected by poor working conditions and intense price pressure on cocoa farmers from Western wholesalers.

This has led to many farmers choosing to switch to other production.

The stock market price has nothing to do with the price a poor cocoa farmer gets when he sells it, Sorensen says.

-So in addition to now suffering from poor harvests, they will not earn anything more than before.

For Janet Gyamfi in Ghana, it's a crisis.

– I am shocked, she told Reuters.

Cocoa farmers Agartha Amoasi and Janet Gyamfi watch as the latter's farm is destroyed.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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