Chocolate is one of the most popular and widely consumed products in the world. The variety of products available in the market appears as without limit, with candy bars, cakes, chocolate bars... It can be found under many different formats and is classified by the amount of cocoa it contains. Milk chocolate accounts for more than 50% of all chocolate consumption but may contain as little as 10% cocoa. A chocolate is considered “black” when its contains more than 60% of cocoa.
For the last hundred years, the chocolate confectionery market has experienced a steady growth, transforming this niche market into an $80bn a year global industry. Today around 3.5 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed annually and the global demand continues to grow with an industry expecting to rise 30% by 2020
This impressive dynamism should appears as a good news for farmers and the general chocolate industry ecosystem however it poses significant challenges. The first one is regarding the capacity for the five million small-scale family farmers in charge of 90% of the world’s cocoa bean production to provide sufficient supply to meet the demand. The second challenge is to do that in an environmentally conscious way. Nowadays, cocoa farms are facing direct and indirect environmental issues related to their production techniques including deforestation, global warming, health problems from agrochemical application, fertilizer misuse, pesticides and hazardous waste. Further issues include human toxicity potential (HTP), ozone layer depletion potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, terrestric ecotoxicity potential (TETP).
Small-scale family farmers are those facing the challenges while the one pushing for more supply and getting the main part of the benefits are the big groups, small-scale family farmers usually living under the 1.25$/day poverty level.
Acknowledging this situation, we perceived Wikirate project as a good opportunity to think about how to raise global awareness regarding the topic. The idea is therefore to find as much data as possible in order to create the most accurate rating system for those multinational companies.