Sadly, hundreds of millions of farmworkers earn daily wages that are lower than the price of a cup of coffee, tea or chocolate in New York or Geneva, while the industries they supply in developed nations accumulate tens of billions of dollars in profits every year.
Through their assertions, Mast Brothers make it much harder for chocolate makers who do actual good works to flourish. And it makes it harder for us to do the work we want to do in supporting quality chocolate and makers with integrity.
In Kenya, Joan Otpi trains farmers to create fortified, nutrient-rich flour; in Pennsylvania, Janet Chambers launched a mentoring program for high school girls; and in El Salvador, Michelle Leach is giving youth a way to develop a local economy.
A few heads bobbed in agreement. This meeting was like all of the monthly breakfast meetings of the Greater Hawai'i Economic Think Tank And Drinking Society. Brilliant business ideas were flung into the air like clay pigeons, only to be shotgunned down in small pieces.
Enjoy that chocolate this Halloween because in the next five years, we could be facing a major shortage. Cocoa farmers, who grow all of the cocoa beans for the world's chocolate, aren't paid fairly and are ditching the crop. Global cocoa production has actually declined since 2011.