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El Niño set to disrupt key commodities in 2015

El Niño 2015 is underway and set to hit wheat, coffee and sugar cane production leading to volatile prices, warns a Rabobank report.

Inca empire strikes back: Peru could dethrone Ecuador as leading global producer of ‘Fino de Aroma’ cocoa by 2020

Booming cocoa production and exports could make Peru leading exporter of fine flavor cocoa, says the Peru Cocoa Alliance.

Unsustainable standards? Questioning the ethics of sustainable sourcing

A growing trend for sustainability certifications and on pack ‘branding’ could mean manufacturers are missing the wider point of sustainability issues and may confuse consumers so much they no longer...

Chocolate makers poised for acquisition spree to control volatile commodities – Euromonitor

Euromonitor International expects more chocolate makers will take vertical control of their supply chains by acquiring commodity suppliers as prices continue to climb.

The outsiders: Cocoa farmer voice missing in chocolate industry productivity push, says ICCFO

Cocoa farmers are largely excluded from decision making in the chocolate industry’s efforts to boost cocoa productivity but have a right to be heard, says a new international farmer’s organization...

Chocolate makers accused of leveraging 'loophole' on child slavery

The National Confectioners Association has hit back at U.S. senators it says mischaracterized the chocolate industry’s efforts on preventing labor rights abuses on cocoa farms in West Africa. But some Fair...

Cocoa disease threat triggers Brazilian ban on green coffee imports from Peru

A major sanitary threat to Brazil’s cocoa crop has prompted Brazilian authorities to suspend green (arabica) coffee imports from Peru indefinitely.

Ivorian cocoa embargo likely if Nestlé, ADM and Cargill child slavery case succeeds, says judge

U.S. chocolate manufacturers would forgo buying cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire if a case against three major cocoa processors succeeds, warns a dissenting judge.

Bigger than expected cocoa deficit for 2014/15, says ICCO

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has risen its cocoa deficit forecast for the 2014/15 season due in part to unfavorable weather in Ghana.

CocoaAction to initiate ‘unprecedented’ $52m education program in cocoa communities

The industry-backed platform CocoaAction has partnered with the Jacob’s Foundation for a $52m education program for cocoa growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire, where the majority of young people fail to...

News in brief

RSPO strengthens its stance on deforestation and human rights

Stricter voluntary guidelines on deforestation, peatland development and indigenous people’s rights will strengthen the sustainable palm oil certification, says the RSPO.

Chocolate industry should embrace anti-extreme poverty tax, says Puratos Grand-Place

The chocolate industry can curtail extreme poverty in the cocoa sector by implementing higher prices that can be passed from consumers to farmers, says Puratos Grand-Place.

Special Edition: Beyond 2020 - The future of sustainable cocoa

Chop, chop: Cocoa dependents must finance farm training before more forests are axed

The chocolate industry must ramp up support for good agricultural practices on existing cocoa farmland or else rainforest will be chopped down to make way for new plantations and it...

Special edition: Beyond 2020 - The future of sustainable cocoa

‘We cannot let Indonesia fail’: Mars stresses Asia’s importance in meeting future cocoa demand

Asia is poised to help meet rising demand for cocoa, but its key producer Indonesia faces quality concerns and its government lacks incentive to grow the sector.

Special Edition: Beyond 2020 - the future of sustainable cocoa

Technological black hole to mechanize smallholder cocoa sector

The cocoa industry must intensify production on existing farmland, but technology to do so is limited or out of reach of impoverished farmers.

Special edition: Beyond 2020 - The future of sustainable cocoa

Hot chocolate: How will industry protect its key commodity from climate change?

Rising temperatures could seriously change where cocoa is grown in the next half-century and global output could be threatened if the chocolate industry does nothing to protect its key crop.

Nut enough: Ferrero goes to Serbia for more hazelnuts

Italy’s confectionery major Ferrero has purchased almost 700 hectares of fertile agricultural land controlled by Serbian agricultural company Aleksa Santic for €7.95m ($8.64m).

Dispatches from Asia Choco Cocoa Congress in Singapore

State-owned plantations could rouse Vietnam’s cocoa industry

Vietnamese state-owned companies plan to convert some coffee and rubber plantations to cocoa, delivering a significant boost to the country’s annual output, says Vietnam’s principle cocoa buyer Puratos Grand-Place....

Sustainability standards in the spotlight: ‘Still taking baby steps’

A single, unifying sustainability standard would be helpful for consumers – but it’s a long way off, says Organic Monitor president and founder Amarjit Sahota.

Europe and North America cocoa grinds slump in Q1

Cocoa processing has dropped in North America and Europe in the first quarter of 2015, but a futures analyst says chocolate demand remains steady.

Event preview

Asia Choco Cocoa Congress 2015: Sourcing cocoa for Asia’s choc boom

Multinationals chocolate companies and the public and private sector will come together this week to assess the future of cocoa sustainability in Asia and how to capitalize on rising chocolate...

Bitter chocolate: Primates wiped out in many Côte d’Ivoire areas – where illegal cocoa farming is on the rise

Illegal cocoa farming is an increasing threat on primate populations in Côte d’Ivoire’s protected areas, say researchers in the journal Tropical Conservation Science. 

Slump in sugar prices driving down overall food prices: FAO

A sharp drop in sugar prices is the main factor behind a fall in overall global food prices, says the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Directly source fine flavor cocoa to expand premium chocolate segment, says Duffy’s

Chocolate companies should buy fine flavor cocoa directly from growers and pay greater premiums to expand the premium chocolate segment, says artisan firm Duffy’s Chocolate.

Mondelēz to bear costs in wheat futures manipulation charge

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods for manipulation and attempted manipulation of the prices of cash wheat and...

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