WCF president Bill Guyton recently visited Tokyo, Japan and the National Museum of Nature and Science to address a crowd attending the Chocolate Exhibition.  He sat down with writer and editor Chiharu Otsuka of National Geographic to talk about cocoa growing, cocoa farmers, and the chocolate market.

Otsuka-san’s fresh perspective and key messages delivered through the National Geographic article included:

  • WCF has been supporting cocoa farmers since 2000,
  • Cocoa trees are growing in a tropical area and not so resistant to disease.  Given the case in Brazil, the industry started making more efforts in modernizing cocoa farming,
  • We consumers should bear in mind the situation around cocoa when eating,
  • Cocoa demand is increasing and will increase given the growth of developing countries including China and India.  In order to solve the supply – demand issue, WCF’s stance is to increase productivity in a limited area without expanding farming areas to consider the impact on the environment,
  • It is important to develop a cocoa tree with high disease resistance,
  • WCF has cocoa farmer education programs including how to manage farming business and the program is well received by women in Africa,
  • “Chocolate” is now a common language in the world.  It is everywhere while it is related to a country’s food culture, e.g. Latvia’s chocolate with berries and roses.  We may touch on a Chinese/Indian culture via chocolate in the future.