March 3rd, 2014
04:04 PM ET

This man is about to taste chocolate for the first time

This farmer from Ivory Coast has been growing cocoa beans for decades, yet he'd never tasted chocolate. As part of the CNN Freedom Project documentary Cocoa-nomics, Richard Quest explored the economics of the chocolate industry which is trying to eradicate slavery from its supply chains. And when he met some of the men, women and children who harvest the beans, he arrived with a KitKat and a box of luxury chocolates from a business class flight.

Read Richard Quest's story in full.

soundoff (23 Responses)
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    The fact that cacao farmers haven't eaten chocolate is widely used to illustrate the economic disparity between cacao producers, and the processors and consumers of the eventual goods. While the income gap is deplorable and undeniable, chocolate is also just not widely available in the rural agricultural areas that produce cacao because it melts above about 20 C, and very few grocery-type vendors have much, if any, refrigeration. It would better illustrate the point to frame local chocolate prices in with respect to the farmer's income (e.g., chocolate bar cost as % of income), and make the same comparison for a chocolate bar bought in the UK, and reported compensation of a Cadbury exec (or Nestle exec in their country, etc). Richard Quest expresses surprise that street vendors in Abijdan do not have chocolate. Anyone who has traveled there, and who understands chocolate, knows it would become molten and unsellable very quickly. Chocolate is available in closed groceries in Adijdan, and smaller cities and towns like Soubré. As I recall when I was there some months ago, a 100 gm bar of chocolate made in Cote d' Ivoire (Amigo) cost 700 CFA. Not sure what the average farmer's income (profit) is.

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