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The truth is that cocoa is sort of it here [in Ghana]. Cocoa is an important component of the local culture.
-Dr. Kristy Leissle, Cocoa Scholar and Researcher
Dr. Kristy Leissle is well-positioned to comment on the future of cocoa after 15 years of study in West Africa. African farmers produce more than two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply, making Africa the determining element in chocolate’s destiny. With all the concern of chocolate’s extinction, it makes sense to go as near to the source as possible: cocoa growers (or at least someone whos talked to thousands of them).
So, what do farmers want from chocolate producers, and hence from chocolate consumers, in order to continue growing cocoa? We discuss global warming, power dynamics in cocoa, and excellent quality cacao in Africa from her office in Accra, Ghana. I hope you liked listening to our talk as much as I did.
It’s worth noting that the topic of the end of chocolate as we know it was the subject of my interview with Kristy, and the result was this podcast episode titled Is Chocolate Becoming Extinct?
View this post on Instagram
Kristy Leissle (@docofchoc) shared a post on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:06am PST.
Dr. Leissle promoting her book during a book signing in Accra, Ghana.
We cover the following topics:
- Kristy’s background in Africa and in researching the cocoa industry
- the craft chocolate industry in Ghana, then and now
- common narratives which can pigeonhole the African continent
- a primer on the power dynamics in the African cocoa industry
- fine flavor vs. bulk cocoa, and the impact of craft chocolate on the West African cocoa industry
- a brief history of cocoa in Africa
- atmosphere & experience on a cocoa farm
- prices farmers need to earn a living wage from growing cocoa
- cocoa futures as a representation of power in the cocoa industry
Make Contact With Dr. Liessle
Blog of Dr. Leissles.
Dr. Leissle’s Instagram page
COCOA Book by Dr. Leissles
Contact Chocolate On The Road
@chocolateontheroad on Instagram
@chocolateontheroad on Facebook
Our show music is Phil Reavis’ Roadtrip, and our transition music is People Like Us’ Were Gonna Be Around and Lobo Loco’s Sweet Dreams.
Click here to listen to the previous episode.