Ebola’s Affects on the Cocoa Industry

Image via Flickr by Tom Hart

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is causing havoc on the world’s economy, but the agricultural industry is seeing one of the biggest hits. West Africa accounts for 70 percent of the world’s cocoa production, and many fear that Ebola will make imports from West Africa more difficult, especially if the disease spirals further out of control.Some of the largest producers of cocoa are Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Cameroon, which are all close to the Ebola outbreak. If Ebola ravages any of these locations, the cocoa industry around the world will not fare well, and cocoa prices have already started to go up. Because the World Cocoa Foundation feels close to the issue, they wanted to join the humanitarian efforts to help the people of West Africa fight Ebola.

The World Cocoa Foundation announced at the 2014 Cocoa Sustainability Trade Fair that they are donating $600,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross, and other relief agencies, to fight Ebola in West Africa. They recognize that West Africa does not have the resources to tackle patient care and prevent the spread of the disease, especially in their rural communities.

90 percent of people who contract Ebola in West Africa do not survive. It’s a major problem that needs to be addressed, and the World Cocoa Foundation hopes their donation will help contain the outbreak. The money was raised by prominent members of the Foundation, including Nestle, Hershey, and Mondelez.

Of course, the cocoa supply chain is not the only affected industry. West Africa is also a major exporter of iron ore, aluminum ore, titanium ore, and rubber. Ebola is affecting the world’s economy and more money for relief efforts is needed. More companies are encouraged to join the World Cocoa Foundation and relief efforts.

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