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Friday 22.02.2019 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija

Fazer: chocolate consumption on a rise in the world, but chocolate joy might end

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«While the world is celebrating World Chocolate Day, confectionery producers warn that this favourite sweet may run out if we don’t start acting more responsibly – in Latvia as well. Climate change and irresponsible supply networks could potentially exhaust the main ingredient – cocoa beans,» says Fazer Bakery Baltic communications director Baiba Gulbe.

The company’s representative adds that 4.6 million tonnes of cocoa was produced in the 2016-2017 season. «For comparison – this is 56% more than 30 years ago, when only two million tonnes were produced. Western Africa is the biggest cocoa production region, which supplies 79% of cocoa beans. Côte d’Ivoire has the largest number of cocoa bean farms in the regions (30% of cocoa produced in the world) and Ghana (20%).»

Gulbe says a large portion of cocoa beans are produced by small family farms that have been part of the cocoa business for decades. «Stores of cocoa beans will run out and we will have to make do without chocolate if confectionery producers around the world fail to support farmers’ performance,» warns Gulbe.

The company adds that this is one of the main reasons why Fazer offers chocolate and chocolate products produced from 100% cacao products. «Fazer procures cocoa from third cocoa producers programmes certified in three largest systems – UTZ, The Rain forest Alliance and The Fairtrade Cocoa Program,» says Gulbe.

Meanwhile, environment protection organization Green Freedom representative Jānis Brizga says consumers more often demand corporate responsibility from companies. More often than not consumers pick certified and internationally approved goods. «Small cocoa producers often live in poverty. Often they decide to drop cocoa production entirely in favour of more easily cultivated cultures. Because of that, cocoa and chocolate production may become at risk in the future.»

Gulbe says latest data shows that the volume of chocolate procured in Latvia declined 4% last year. This is mainly because the population continues declining.

«At the same time, more attention is paid to healthy lifestyle and dieting. Chocolate demand also continues changing – residents more often pick chocolate with high concentration of cocoa, reduced sugar concentration and natural additives. Buyers also pay more attention to products free of GMO and whether or not cocoa beans were collected responsibly. We are happy to see Latvian chocolate-lovers have become more responsible when it comes to sweets,» continues Gulbe.

Developed western nations (USA, Canada and Europe) are the largest chocolate consumers in the world. Thanks to increased purchasing power, Brazil and Russia are some of the most rapidly growing chocolate realization markets in the world. With western values and increased purchasing power, chocolate consumption in Asia is also on a rise. However, it is still far from the level of chocolate lovers level, says Fazer representatives.

The company also notes that chocolate consumption and habits differ from country to country. In Switzerland sales of chocolate reaches 8.8 kg per capita, in Austria and Germany – 8 kg per capita, in Sweden – 6.6 kg per capita, in Denmark – 4.9 kg per capita, in USA and France – 4.4 kg per capita and in China – only 0.1 kg per capita.

Fazer owned chocolate production plant in Vanta, Finland produces approximately 100,000 kg of chocolate every day. Cocoa is also used at Fazer bakeries in Finland, Sweden, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as cafes and restaurants in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as reported by the company.

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