Cocoa industry is now one worth up to 100 billion US$ a year, and it is an economic lifeblood for countries in West Africa, say Ghana and Ivory Coast. This industry employs millions of farmers, middlemen, and on a later stage, hundred thousand workers in factories scattered across Western countries and in Asia. Nonetheless, this industry has been hampered by numerous allegations: countless child labors have been exploited, human rights abuses are oftentimes rampant, but, on top of it, and one irony we have barely imagined before, is of the farmers themselves having never tried the final-end product of the cocoa beans they produce: chocolate. The one we so highly prize in patisseries, bakeries, and cafes in major cities worldwide.
VPRO Metropolis, Dutch international news broadcaster, highlights a special report about the cocoa industry in Ivory Coast, and the journalists attempt to get these farmers’ reaction when they give a try to chocolate for the first time. First time, ever.
(Bonus from Metropolis: as Ivorian farmers have barely seen a chocolate for the first time, the reverse happens to Western consumers, especially the Dutch; they have never seen a cocoa fruit as well. Click on the link above to find out more)