We use cookies for site personalization, analytics and advertising. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it



Chocolate - the facts

The relationship of the bitter tropical bean to that gooey brown goodness is usually ignored.
Here the NI shows how you get from cocoa to chocolate
- and how much sticks to whose fingers along the way.

[image, unknown]

Big Chocolate 3

Sales of chocolate are dominated by a few giant companies - 'Big Chocolate': the Mars and Hershey companies account for three-quarters of chocolate sales in the US - Cadbury, Nestlé and Mars for the same proportion in Britain. In recent years the concentration of ownership has intensified as big companies swallow up smaller ones. [image, unknown]

[image, unknown]

[image, unknown] Bar breakdown

Who gets what from a bar of chocolate

Green and Black's Maya Gold (fairly-traded) 6

Fairly-traded Maya Gold gives 5.3 pence to the cocoa farmer for every bar it sells for £1.35. Of this, 0.3 pence comes from the fair-trade premium. This may seem like a small amount, but it can make a big difference to the farmer. More important still is the cocoa content: Maya Gold contains 55% cocoa solids, whereas most of the popular bars in Britain and North America contain just 20%. So, from a typical milk-chocolate bar selling for 90p, a Ghanaian farmer can expect to see just 0.5 pence.

[image, unknown]

1 Cocoa Research Institute, Cocoa Production Statistics, Ohio State University.
2 Caobisco IOCCC, Statistical Bulletin, (Summer 1995).
3 Fair Trade Yearbook, 1994 and Cocoa Newsletter, No 3.
4 Cocoa Newsletter, No 7.
5 Cocoa Market Liberalization, The Cocoa Association (1997).
6 Information from Green and Black's.

Contents - this Issue     Magazines Home

New Internationalist issue 304 magazine cover This article is from the August 1998 issue of New Internationalist.
You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Subscribe today »

Help us keep this site free for all

Editor Portrait New Internationalist is a lifeline for activists, campaigners and readers who value independent journalism. Please support us with a small recurring donation so we can keep it free to read online.

Support us » payment methods

Subscribe   Ethical Shop