The World Cocoa Foundation has confirmed that the Ebola virus is threatening the world’s chocolate supply, according to Politico. Much of the world’s cocoa production takes place in countries in Africa where the cacao bean is grown, such as the Ivory Coast and Ghana, and both countries neighbor places where the world’s worst cases and deaths of Ebola outbreak have been recorded in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Ivory Coast has yet to see a single case of Ebola (unlike America, which already has had at least two confirmed cases), but the chocolate industry could very well be impacted as the Ivory Coast shuts down its borders.
The World Cocoa Foundation is already asking for donations from its members including Nestlé, Mars, and Hershey, and specific plans for the initiative will be unveiled Wednesday. The raised funds will go toward stemming the spread of the disease, and to help organizations like the Red Cross.
The Ivory Coast and Ghana together produce almost half of the world’s cocoa supply, or more than 2 million metric tons per year, and estimated future cocoa prices, according to Politico, have skyrocketed from a normal $2,000 per ton to as high as $3,400 back in September.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi