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.

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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]

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[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.

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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.

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mag cover This article is from the August 1998 issue of New Internationalist.
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