You know what they say: A chocolate in the mouth is worth two on the plate. We eat chocolate for dessert, hand them out as gifts, and like to drizzle it on pretty much everything we can find.
Canadians certainly love their chocolate. But a recent study suggests that despite our national obsession, we know very little about its journey from cocoa field to corner store.
The survey was conducted for the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. It found that many Canadians know very little about where chocolate comes from — or about threats to the global cocoa supply.
Here’s the “sweet” truth:
- 77 per cent of Canadians would be upset to wake up to a world without chocolate
- If they had to choose their “last meal,” 58 per cent of Canadians would include chocolate
- 62 per cent say that they could eat chocolate every single day
- 39 per cent say that chocolate goes with every meal-including breakfast!
Despite their love affair with chocolate, Canadians remain in the dark about where it comes from:
- Most Canadians think that the majority of cocoa comes from Ecuador (42 per cent)
- Seven per cent of Canadians think cocoa comes from Belgium (four per cent) or Switzerland (three per cent)
- 23 per cent are unsure where cocoa comes from
- Only 28 per cent correctly identified West Africa as the source of most cocoa
Among the ongoing threats to the world cocoa supply:
- Low-yield, diseased or pest-susceptible cocoa crops
- Poor environmental and social conditions for farming communities
- Low farming incomes and lack of access to modernized agricultural practices
- Regional turmoil
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is a global initiative to ensure a sustainable cocoa supply. The program also tries to improve the lives of small farmers. Nestlé says it supports Field Schools. These schools help farmers understand how to increase yields and cocoa quality. By 2015, Nestlé will train 30,000 farmers from whom it will source cocoa.
The company has so far invested $120 million in a 10-year initiative.