WCF president Bill Guyton recently visited Tokyo, Japan and the National Museum of Nature and Science to address a crowd attending the Chocolate Exhibition. He sat down with writer and editor Chiharu Otsuka of National Geographic to talk about cocoa growing, cocoa farmers, and the chocolate market.
Otsuka-san’s fresh perspective and key messages delivered through the National Geographic article included:
- WCF has been supporting cocoa farmers since 2000,
- Cocoa trees are growing in a tropical area and not so resistant to disease. Given the case in Brazil, the industry started making more efforts in modernizing cocoa farming,
- We consumers should bear in mind the situation around cocoa when eating,
- Cocoa demand is increasing and will increase given the growth of developing countries including China and India. In order to solve the supply – demand issue, WCF’s stance is to increase productivity in a limited area without expanding farming areas to consider the impact on the environment,
- It is important to develop a cocoa tree with high disease resistance,
- WCF has cocoa farmer education programs including how to manage farming business and the program is well received by women in Africa,
- “Chocolate” is now a common language in the world. It is everywhere while it is related to a country’s food culture, e.g. Latvia’s chocolate with berries and roses. We may touch on a Chinese/Indian culture via chocolate in the future.