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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 09:04 AM

Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast

Source: The Guardian

Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast

Exclusive: As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks have entered big business supply chains
'Once this was all trees, but they burned them to plant cocoa': the ruin of West Africa's rainforest

The world’s chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa, the Guardian can reveal.

Cocoa traders who sell to Mars, Nestlé, Mondelez and other big brands buy beans grown illegally inside protected areas in the Ivory Coast, where rainforest cover has been reduced by more than 80% since 1960.

Illegal product is mixed in with “clean” beans in the supply chain, meaning that Mars bars, Ferrero Rocher chocolates and Milka bars could all be tainted with “dirty” cocoa. As much as 40% of the world’s cocoa comes from Ivory Coast.

The Guardian travelled across Ivory Coast and documented rainforests cleared for cocoa plantation; villages and farmers occupying supposedly protected national parks; enforcement officials taking kickbacks for turning a blind eye to infractions and trading middlemen who supply the big brands indifferent to the provenance of beans.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/13/chocolate-industry-drives-rainforest-disaster-in-ivory-coast

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