Did we get your attention? Yes, tasty, wonderful, most-of-us-can’t-live-without-it chocolate is in trouble! But instead of going bonkers and hoarding your favorite chocos, you can do something about it. Together, we can save chocolate.
Climate change means that by 2050 rising temperatures will push today's chocolate-growing regions more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain — much of which is currently preserved for wildlife, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Changes in rainfall patterns, including shifts in timing and distribution, can impact cocoa production. Cocoa requires specific amounts of rainfall at certain times during its growing cycle. Excessive or insufficient rainfall can lead to crop stress, diseases, and reduced yields.
Warmer temperatures and altered rainfall patterns can create favorable conditions for pests and diseases that affect cocoa, such as cocoa swollen shoot virus and cocoa pod borer.
Climate change may result in shifts in the regions suitable for cocoa cultivation. As temperature and rainfall patterns change, areas that were previously great for cocoa production may become not at all great -- and yes, new areas may become viable – but the situation is precarious.
Millions of smallholder farmers in West Africa and other developing regions depend on this crop, so a cocoa crisis is beyond an environmental problem (and a “I need my chocolate!” problem), it's also a social one. Many of these farmers earn below the World Bank definition of a ‘living income’, and yield reductions associated with climate change will likely further reduce income and increase poverty in these communities.
If you love chocolate and simply can't bear with the idea that your favorite treat may one day be gone forever, take action today! You'll not only be fighting for the sake of your sweet tooth, but also the cacoa farmers whose livelihoods depend on this. Make some noise so chocolate brands start to pay attention and a) inform the consumers about this predicament and b) have strong climate policies in place.
Select your favorite chocolate brand and share a post urging them to put a ‘Chocolate is Threatened’ label on their chocolate for greater awareness. Together, we can save this much-beloved treat. Did you receive a special Tony's chocolate bar? Share your Tony's chocolate experience – or any chocolate experience for that matter – on social and call on your friends to #SaveChocolate!