This book might even teach activists who have to communicate with business leaders and vice versa how to find common ground. She delves into the messy politics, the black-on-black racism, the hatred of foreigners, constant military presence, the suppression of journalism, the violence of kidnap and murder, and child labour - all issues that have affected the industry at one time or another. In the 1860s, Swiss missionaries had experimented with seedlings from Surinam. They wanted their horizons to extend beyond the next harvest. Even though we have labels like Fairtrade that have brought attention to the issues surrounding chocolate production, most people are still woefully ignorant of these issues, and when you bring them up, clamp their ears shut or try to change the subject. In preparing to write an article for the Huffington Post about chocolate and cocoa, I was introduced to issues about which I had previously had no knowledge.
The conditions that cacao famers face are not always quite as horrific as Ryan tries to make them out to be. For millions of people, this colour conjures up the first bite of Dairy Milk, Crunchie or Creme Egg. Also, what about the possibility that having a large block of Fairtrade buyers offering higher prices will contribute to higher market prices in general? From the thousands of children who work on plantations to the smallholders who harvest the beans, this title reveals the hard economic realities of our favourite sweet. This was a smell both familiar and foreign to me, an intense aroma which conjured up childhood images of Flakes, Milk Tray selections and Mars bars. For example, the author mentions that farmers don't necessarily sell their cocoa beans to Fair Trade organizations because there are an abundance of buyers, and at the end of the book she says that there are very few buyers and that this is a bad thing for farmers. However, it would be nice to know what, if anything has worsened or improved. Provocative and eye-opening, Chocolate Nations exposes the true story of how the treat we love makes it onto our supermarket shelves.
The final chapter looks forward to how to create a sustainable future for a cocoa industry which is struggling to meet world demand, where cocoa farmers often struggle to survive and where, in consequence, the younger generation do not want to enter the business. I also wish to thank Peter Murphy, Ange Aboa, Loucoumane Coulibaly and Charles Bamba for their help and advice in Abidjan and Bouake. There are eight chapters in this short 160 page but heavy-hitting work. The book is short, so not having enough time to read it is no excuse. Chocolate - the very word conjures up a hint of the forbidden and a taste of the decadent.
But newspaper reports of slavery encouraged it to look elsewhere. The other problem I had with the book was that the cover promised too much. Once you've done that, you'll never buy or think about chocolate in the same way as before. Second, it only concentrates on two countries producing chocolate and gives a bare mention of a few other locations around the world; it would be instructive to see a comparative study and go into more detail on the regional politics that have affected the industry so strongly. From the thousands of children who work on plantations to the smallholders who harvest the beans, Chocolate Nations reveals the hard economic realities of our favourite sweet. If your looking for answe I had to read this book for a class.
Nearly 2 million small producers in West Africa, including those in Cameroon and Nigeria, produced 2. For a start, it's so short, it can do little but gloss over the facts, and doesn't always present a balanced view. Or at least a level of depth that was unusual for a journalist. I have an unusual problem with reviewing this book: It is so intensely thought-provoking I'm having trouble just telling you what's actually in it. This book just shades it in terms of my recommendation because of its distilled focus.
For more than a hundred years, Cadbury drinking cocoa and eating chocolate have been part of British life. I ended up feeling quite relieved that the masses of skulls never really materialised. But the scent that reminded me of childhood treats meant different things to these farmers. These were beans they lived and died for. Orla Ryan shows that only a tiny fraction of the cash we pay for a chocolate bar actually makes it back to the farmers, and sheds light on what Fair Trade really means on the ground. For the first time I felt I understood what it meant to describe a product as the lifeblood of a country. Their money has to pay for all of the food they eat, since none of it comes from their own farm.
I knew smallholders was a synonym, but until the end of the book I thought the term producers referred to a completely different entity in the world of cocoa, which is not very well explained in this book. I'm not saying that the book doesn't describe injustice - of course it does. While still interesting, it is not what the book appears to be on the surface. Because I feel a tangent coming on, I'll be quick: This is an exceptionally readable, comprehensive, smart and objective book that smashes any assumptions you may have been making since I told you it was about poor African farmers harvesting most of the world's chocolate with hand tools. Reformers have expressed concern about industry practices, and Ryan ably discusses such issues as child labor on cocoa farms and the debates around free trade. I seemed to get confused occasionally with contradicting ideas that the author observed or talked about.
A small boy in a white shirt presses his face against the glass, entranced by the never-ending stream of bars chugging along a conveyor belt in the packaging factory. Now more than a hundred years old, its in-depth, long-term knowledge of the continent and its peoples makes the Society the first stop for anyone wishing to know more about the continent. Founded in 1926 and based in London, it supports a range of seminars and publications including the journal Africa. Provocative and eye-opening, Chocolate Nations exposes the true story of how the treat we love makes it on to our supermarket shelves. This involved speaking to traders about market movements and writing daily reports. In one instance, I found two identical sentences right next to each other.