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August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved sweet treats. It is consumed pretty much everywhere. You are probably a chocolate lover. So where does your favourite brand of chocolate come from?

A recent white paper from data provider Gro Intelligence gathered the facts: Europe dominates the production, consumption and exportation of chocolate — and has done so for decades. The continent accounts for 70 per cent of global exports; and the world’s top 10 chocolate consuming countries, in per capita terms, are also in Europe. There’s big money in chocolate: it is Europe’s second most valuable processed food export.

FAMILIAR STORY

So far we are talking about chocolate, the final product. What we often forget is what chocolate really is. The key ingredient is the cocoa bean, which is not grown in Europe. It requires warm and humid climates. So who produces the cocoa bean? Africa. Two-thirds of global cocoa production comes from Africa, mostly from several countries in West Africa. Côte d’Ivoire alone accounts for a third of the world’s cocoa.

It’s a familiar story. We grow the raw material, but that’s all. Other people create, process, sell and eat chocolate. Half the global market in chocolate is supplied by just 17 companies, most of them European. Read more