05 May 1998
Pod disease threatens cocoa meltdown
A NEW strain of the lethal black pod disease in the Ivory Coast is threatening more than a million tons of cocoa, raising fears among confectioners that there could be a world chocolate shortage.
And in Brazil, another major producer, a fungus known as Witches Broom has been attacking cacao trees. These latest developments, coupled with the fact that South American rain forests are being destroyed, in whose shade cacao trees thrive, has seen many of the major chocolate manufacturers enter co-operative talks.
The American Cocoa Research Institute said the situation was so serious there was a shortage of places in the world to plant cocoa.
- The Guardian 05/05/98 page 1