The executive director of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has rejected suggestions that chocolate could become an expensive luxury in the face of a global cocoa deficit.
“Chocolate will never be a luxury item. Chocolate will remain accessible to most consumers – the average milk chocolate with 20-30% cocoa will always be present on the market,” said Jean-Marc Anga at the World Conference 2014 in Amsterdam
In a guest article for ConfectioneryNews in April, Han De Groot, executive director of UTZ Certified, said that chocolate risked becoming a small and expensive niche product unless more was done to help farmers escape poverty.
Anga rejected the notion but said that the industry could not shy away from deficit forecasts. “It’s justified to say that we need more cocoa to meet future demand.”
ICCO believes the cocoa deficit will continue and cocoa prices will increase. Its latest prediction is for a 30,000 metric ton (MT) supply surplus for the current season 2013/14, but a deficit slightly under 100,000 MT for the next crop year.
However, the organization said that predictions by companies such as Barry Callebaut and Mars of a 1m MT shortfall by 2020 were overstated.