At Easter, Christmas and any time in between: chocolate is an indulgence, which is popular as a treat throughout Europe, not just for special occasions. Every German consumes almost four kilograms of raw cocoa per year in the form of chocolate bars, Easter bunnies and other confectionery products. Even the Indians and Chinese are slowly learning to love the taste of the "food of the gods", as is the translation of the Latin name of the cocoa plant.
The chocolate market is recording good growth rates, the industry is flourishing. Only those cultivating the cocoa – mainly distributed along the northern tropics of West Africa – hardly have any share in the enormous revenues generated and are also struggling with declining yields and the emigration of the next generation. Just like with coffee, the main risks in the cocoa sector are in the first stages of the value added chain, i.e. in cultivation and harvesting. Primarily the prices, which are low and to a great extent decoupled from the world market, will pose major challenges to the chocolate manufacturers, cocoa farmers and governments in the coming years.