What are the economic impacts of cocoa deforestation in cocoa producing countries such as Ivory Coast, in the EU’s economy?

-please not NO PLAGERISM, PLEASE PLEASEWhat are the economic impacts of cocoa deforestation in cocoa producing countries such as Ivory Coast, in the EU’s economy? -Maybe talk about what deforestation is (in short)? What has the EU done about it to prevent it? Is it working? Yes, why? No, why?-Has deforestation of cocoa in other countries affected EU’s economy, If so how? And why?-Pretty much the impact of EU’s economy on cocoa deforestation from producing countries -This paper is for an ECON class so really focus on ECON aspect of it -Connect everything, -please not NO PLAGERISM, PLEASE PLEASE -Paper needs to be in Times New Roman 12 -From 3,500- 4,000 words


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What are the economic impacts of cocoa deforestation in cocoa producing countries such as
Ivory Coast, in the EU’s economy?
– Maybe talk about what deforestation is (in short)? What has the EU done about it to
prevent it? Is it working? Yes, why? No, why?
– Has deforestation of cocoa in other countries affected EU’s economy, If so how? And
– Pretty much the impact of EU’s economy on cocoa deforestation from producing
– This paper is for an ECON class so really focus on ECON aspect of it
– Connect everything,
– Paper needs to be in Times New Roman 12
– From 3,500- 4,000 words
Here are some sources that could help!
News that can be helpful- https://www.confectionerynews.com/Article/2015/04/29/What-is-theenvironmental-impact-of-cocoa-production
ISSN: 1076-156X | Vol. 23 Issue 2 | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.2017.731 | jwsr.org
1 | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.1
Chocolate and the Consumption ofVol.
A Cross-National Examination of Ecologically Unequal Exchange in Cocoa Exports
Mark D. Noble
Lehigh Univeresity
This study explores the potential links between specialization in cocoa exports and deforestation in developing
nations through the lens of ecologically unequal exchange. Although chocolate production was once considered to
have only minimal impacts on forests, recent reports suggest damaging trends due to increased demand and
changing cultivation strategies. I use two sets of regression analyses to show the increased impact of cocoa export
concentration on deforestation over time for less-developed nations. Overall, the results confirm that cocoa exports
are associated with deforestation in the most recent time period, and suggest that specialization in cocoa exports is
an important form of ecologically unequal exchange, where the environmental costs of chocolate consumption in
the Global North are externalized to nations in the Global South, further impairing possibilities for successful or
sustainable development.
Keywords: Chocolate, Environment, Unequal Exchange, Ecologically Unequal Exchange, deforestation
Chocolate is ubiquitous in American culture and is associated with major commercial holidays
such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. People in the United States enjoy a significant
amount of chocolate and each year Americans consume on average 9.5 pounds of chocolate per
person (Confectionery News 2014). Yet, Americans are not alone in their love for chocolate and
it is consumed in even greater quantities in Western Europe. In fact, Switzerland, Germany and
New articles in this journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 United States License.
This journal is published by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh as part of
its D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program and is cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Journal of World-System Research | Vol. 23 Issue 2
Austria lead the world in yearly chocolate consumption, eating 19.8, 17.4, and 17.2 pounds of
chocolate a year per person, respectively (Confectionery News 2014). Worldwide demand for
chocolate treats is at an all-time high (World Resources Institute 2015). Most of this demand is
driven by the Western world, but the popularity of chocolate is quickly rising in rapidly developing
nations, such as China and India, and this fact is not lost on confectionary companies (Reuters
2015). For example, Hershey has recently invested $250 million into a strategically-placed
manufacturing plant in Malaysia, looking to these countries for the future expansion of their
products (Business Wire 2013).
Despite high levels of chocolate consumption in the United States and other developed
nations, people rarely consider where chocolate comes from, or the conditions under which the
cocoa1 trees, which produce the beans to make chocolate, are grown. Chocolate production
involves a long and highly unequal commodity chain that transforms the raw cocoa bean into the
chocolate treats we love and crave (Fairtrade Foundation 2016). In fact, these commodity chains
have been restructured in recent years with increased economic globalization and become even
more unequal. As an example, despite millions of cocoa growers, just nine companies now control
the processing and manufacturing of chocolate worldwide (Fairtrade Foundation 2016). This
concentration has the potential to distort the market and drive profit down for small cocoa growers
(Fairtrade Foundation 2016). The production of chocolate likely entails environmental costs in the
regions in which the cocoa in grown, which are typically far from the sites of consumption
facilitating processes of ecologically unequal exchange (Bunker and Ciccantell 2005; Jorgenson
et al. 2009).
This paper examines the environmental costs of chocolate through the lens of ecologically
unequal exchange, specifically focusing on links between cocoa exports and deforestation. Worldsystems theory, which espouses thinking on ecologically unequal exchange, provides an excellent
theoretical lens from which to view the environmental consequences of chocolate production.
While chocolate is a luxury item almost exclusively enjoyed in the developed world, cocoa is
exclusively grown in places such as West Africa, Asia, and Central and South America; regions
that on average have extremely small demand for the product that they often depend on for their
livelihoods (Confectionery News 2014; Fairtrade Foundation 2016). Although ecologically
unequal exchange has been used to examine links between agricultural products more generally
(e.g. Jorgenson, 2006; Jorgenson et al., 2009, 2010; Shandra et al., 2009), as well as key
commodities, such as coffee and beef (Austin 2010a, 2012), the potential role of cocoa exports
specifically in promoting deforestation in developing nations has not been empirically examined
I use the term cocoa throughout this analysis despite the fact that Theobroma cacao is the scientific name of the cocoa
tree. The terms cocoa tree and cacao tree are used interchangeably in the literature. This is not to be confused with the
coca plant that is used as the main ingredient in cocaine.
jwsr.org | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.2017.731
Journal of World-System Research | Vol. 23 Issue 2 | Chocolate and the Consumption of Forests
in comparative analyses. Furthermore, the extent to which cocoa negatively impacts forests may
represent a newly emerging phenomenon; while traditional approaches relied on semi-shade
conditions that preserved primary forests, recent pressures have propelled small-holders and some
large-scale farmers to search for new forested lands to expand cocoa cultivation and there has been
a transition to hybrid varieties of high-yield trees that grow in monocultures without shade (e.g.
CNN 2008). Specifically, the Amazon hybrids that tolerate full sun are now expanding to famers
in West Africa who are trying to meet growing world-demand, where about 70 percent of the
world’s cocoa is grown (Wessel and Quist-Wessel 2015). Thus, this paper is timely and seeks to
fill this lacuna by providing an empirical examination of the connections between cocoa
production and deforestation.
Cocoa: History, Characteristics, and New Production Patterns
Chocolate consists of cocoa, sugar, and milk, but it is the cocoa that is the main ingredient. The
cocoa tree’s scientific name, Theobroma Cacao, means “food of the gods” (World Cocoa
Foundation 2017a). Although most cocoa grown today comes from West African countries such
as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, cocoa originated in Central and South America. The regions
around the Orinoco (in present day Venezuela and Colombia) and Amazon Rivers (in present day
Brazil) are thought to be the evolutionary birthplace of Theobroma Cacao (Young 2007:2-3).
The earliest harvesting of cocoa by the Amazonian Indians was for the sweet tasting white
pulp (Young 2007:11-12), and several indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica also cultivated cocoa.
Cocoa cultivation has a long history, as the Olmec Indians were cultivating cocoa by the time of
Christ and perhaps even a thousand years before this (Coe and Coe 2013; Young 2007). Cocoa
was held in high esteem by indigenous peoples, as evidenced by a jadeite carving depicting a Maya
lord holding a cocoa tree found in the cenote of Chichén Itzá. (Young 2007). Other examples
abound as images of warrior-priests and nobles with cocoa trees dating back to 200 A.D. have
been found throughout the Mayan territories of Mexico and Central America (Young 2007). Other
indigenous peoples of the region (e.g., Aztecs and their descendants, the Pipil-Nicarao Indians)
had several uses for cocoa. It was consumed in a drink, used for currency, and used as tributes to
rulers of the Aztec empire (Coe and Coe 2013; Young 2007). Although early indigenous groups
in Mexico and Central America farmed cocoa intensively, their respect for nature helped them
develop environmentally sustainable methods of agriculture. Cocoa was part of a diversified
agricultural plan that included other taller trees that provided the needed shade for the cocoa tree
(Coe and Coe 2013; Young 2007).
Although Columbus brought cocoa beans back from the new world around 1502, they went
largely unnoticed (Cadbury 2017). Hernando Cortés witnessed Montezuma II being offered a
jwsr.org | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.2017.731
Journal of World-System Research | Vol. 23 Issue 2
chocolate drink made from cocoa in fifty gold chalices and tributes being paid to him in the form
of cocoa beans in 1519 (Young 2007). Realizing that it held the potential for commercial value he
took it back and introduced it to the Spanish royal court circa 1530 (Cadbury 2017; Young 2007).
Cocoa did not become immediately popular in this form as it was too bitter. It was not until a
decade later when cocoa was mixed with sugar and cinnamon that it began to increase in appeal
(Cadbury 2017; Coe and Coe 2013). However, broad popularity had to wait until the late 19 th
century when the Swiss candle maker Daniel Porter worked with Henri Nestle to perfect the
process of making milk chocolate (Cargill 2017; Coe and Coe 2013).
Cocoa Production Today
Approximately 90 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown by five to six million small farmers. In
total, 40 to 50 million people in the developing world rely on the cultivation of cocoa as their main
source of livelihood (Afoakwa 2014). Since the 1930s, West African farmers have been world
leaders in cocoa production led by Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon (Afoakwa 2010).
The average size of the small cocoa farms is around one to four hectares (Barrrientos 2016; Wessel
and Quist-Wessel 2015). Despite a majority of the world’s cocoa being grown in West Africa, it
has recently expanded to other countries where different growing methods are used. In India, for
instance, cocoa is grown on a mix of small and large-scale farms, and in Indonesia it is mostly
grown on large-scale farms using monoculture techniques (Barrrientos 2016). While it is easy to
link large-scale agri-businesses to deforestation practices, there are also several reasons for small
farmers to increase pressures on forests as well, such as expanding cultivation sites into new areas
due to rising world demand, older cocoa trees becoming less productive, and new government-led
initiatives in several West African countries to increase production (Wessel and Quist-Wessel
Today the process of making chocolate begins with the cocoa tree. Cocoa trees only grow
within a 20-degree swatch of the equator (Cadbury 2017; World Cocoa Foundation 2017) and are
highly fragile and unproductive in climates that are too hot or too windy (ICCO 2015). These trees
typically take three to four years to mature before producing the colorful pods, and tend to produce
fruit or pods for about 10 years. Cocoa pods are rather distinct in that they grow directly from the
trunk and large branches of the tree (Cadbury 2017). A typical tree is less than 25 feet high which
traditionally made it ideal to grow under the shade of larger trees in its natural rainforest habitat.
There are typically two growing seasons for cocoa and the average yield is about 30 cocoa pods
per tree. The pods are about 7 to 8 inches long and weigh about one pound each. Once these pods
are harvested, usually by hand with a machete, they are split to reveal about 20 to 50 almond-sized
beans encased in a whitish pulp (World Cocoa Foundation 2017). Once removed from the pulp,
the beans begin a multi-stage process of fermentation and drying in the countries where they are
jwsr.org | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.2017.731
Journal of World-System Research | Vol. 23 Issue 2 | Chocolate and the Consumption of Forests
grown before the dried beans are bagged and shipped to processing plants where they are
winnowed, roasted, grinded, and pressed (World Cocoa Foundation 2017). The typical tree
produces only enough cocoa to make 450 grams or approximately 16 ounces of chocolate in a year
(Cadbury 2017).
Today, there are three main segments of the chocolate market: the high quantity but lowquality chocolate, a good quality chocolate for the mainstream market, and a niche market
consisting of fair trade and organic chocolate. The largest growth has been in the niche markets,
but overall it is estimated that less than one percent of the chocolate market is designated as fair
trade (ICCO 2016). Over the last 15 years, the chocolate industry has grown by about 3 percent
per year, but since the market liberalizations of the 1980s, the world chocolate prices have been
quite volatile. From the mid-1980s to the late 1990s there was a pronounced downward trend in
prices. Some recovery took place in the early 2000s but prices in 2005 were still about 13 percent
lower than in 1995. Since then there has been rising prices (Barrrientos 2016).
Cocoa represents an important commodity in the world economy; for example, in 2010, the
value of the global cocoa crop was over $5 billion (Afoakwa 2014). To some, especially poor
economies in West Africa, the role it plays in generating export revenues cannot be overstated. For
example, in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana it represents a significant share of their
total export earnings. While cocoa trees are grown in several world regions including Africa, Asia
and Oceania, and Central and South America, about 75 percent of the world’s cocoa exports come
from Africa, 16 percent from Asia and Oceania and 6 percent from Central and South America
(Afoakwa 2014).
Since the vast majority of cocoa produced in the world today is done by small farmers, it is
important to examine recent developments in the way in which small farmers in West Africa have
been integrated into the world economy, which is relevant for understanding unequal exchange. In
West Africa from the 1950s to 1980s, the cocoa industry was organized by the state through export
marketing boards. These boards set prices, held a monopoly on export cocoa, allowed for stable
prices, and ensured the uniform quality cocoa bean (Barrrientos 2016). However, in the 1980s,
these marketing boards were abolished and the world market was liberalized as exporting countries
fell under the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
(Barrrientos 2016). While the goals of these liberal policies may have been to increase efficiency
of production and increase profits from cultivation, this has not been the result (Oxfam 2009).
Instead small-scale farmers are subject to global fluctuations and market volatility as layers of
protections were removed (Barrrientos 2016).
Since the 1980s there has also been a trend toward increased concentration in the cocoa
commodity chain in terms of processing (grinding) and manufacturing (Barrrientos 2016; Fold
2002). Producing countries now export cocoa beans to be processed in other, more developed
jwsr.org | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.2017.731
Journal of World-System Research | Vol. 23 Issue 2
countries (Barrrientos 2016; Fold 2002). By the early 2000s, corporations within six moredeveloped countries, including the United States, controlled about 60 percent of the chocolate
manufacturing market (Oxfam 2009). Thus, the world has seen significant changes in the global
commodity chain of chocolate since the 1980s. On the one hand, small cocoa farmers are now
directly linked to the world economy and on the other, there has been increased concentration of
production and manufacturing processes (Barrrientos 2016; Fold 2002).
While the chocolate industry is big business today for corporations of the Global North
involved in the processing, marketing, and distribution of chocolate, many of the small farmers
growing cocoa live in poverty, as only about 3 percent of the price of each chocolate bar goes to
the famer (Oxfam 2013). Many cocoa farmers are food insecure; for example, one study indicates
that about 60 percent of households who farm cocoa in Nigeria’s top cocoa producing state were
food insecure (Oluyole et al. 2009). Thus, it is possible that households that specialize in cocoa
cultivation do so at the expense of producing other local food products, as we see with other
products such as coffee (e.g., Austin 2012). These trends are consistent with the discussion of the
commoditization of food and inequitable access to food in the new global economy (Scalan 2003).
Unique qualities of cocoa trees create pressures on the industry and may enhance negative
impacts on the environment. Importantly, cocoa trees are highly fragile and are plagued by several
diseases such as Witches’ Broom, Frosty Pod Rot, and Phytophthora Pod Rot that have been
harmful to yields (ICCO 2015). It is not uncommon to lose anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of a
cocoa crop in a given year due to one or more of these diseases (World Cocoa Foundation 2017a).
Climatic changes, such as a lack of rainfall, and the depletion of soil nutrients over time, reduce
yields (Bloomberg 2015). Further, reliance on aging trees and political instability in West African
countries also has negative impacts on cocoa production (World Resources Institute 2015). The
marked increase in worldwide demand in recent years intensifies these factors (World Resources
Institute 2015). Deficits in production yields from prior years are being carried forward to create
enhanced pressure on farmers to produce and export more cocoa and search for ways to increase
their output (Fairtrade Foundation 2016). One such solution is the call for increased use of
fertilizers (Gockowski and Sonwa 2011). While fertilizer use often leads to impressive increases
in cocoa yields, small farmers are often reluctant to use them. Wessel and Quist-Wessel (2015)
document that fertilizer is shown to increase cocoa yields by as much as 50 percent in 5-year trials
in Ghana, however, they have little effect on the yields during the first two years of use and are
expensive. Thus, it is hard for poor farmers to invest in a solution that does not produce timely
results (Wessel and Quist-Wessel 2015).
Instead of using fertilizers, small plot farmers are increasingly felling new forests as a solution
to older, unproductive areas with poor soil fertility (CNN 2008). Recent policy and news reports
provide numerous examples, such as the rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon and Cavally Forest
jwsr.org | DOI 10.5195/JWSR.2017.731
Journal of World-System Research | Vol. 23 Issue 2 | Chocolate and the Consumption of Fores …
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