I don’t want to alarm anyone but THE WORLD IS RUNNING OUT OF CHOCOLATE! I’m not usually a fan of conspiracy theories, but this one involves big government, big money, big pests, and the number 7. We are headed for the achocalypse my friends, perhaps sooner than we think.
Last year we ate 70000 more tonnes than we produced worldwide of cacao, the little bean of joy that’s found inside the rather unseemly looking fruit of the cacao tree, a native of the Amazon basin. The gap between our appetite for chocolate and what we can produce is ever-increasing. Costa Rica, a major grower until the 70s, was blighted by a disease called frosty pod. Brazil, the king of cocoa, was struck by another disease, witches’ broom, which swept through just as suddenly and inexplicably over 7 years. I’m not making this up. With South America hobbled, West Africa now produces 70 per cent of the world’s cacao. They don’t have frosty pod or witches’ broom, yet, but it’s only a careless tourist or calculated act of choc sabotage away, according to people who know.
To help an ailing world industry, it was the government in Indonesia that distributed 70 million supposedly disease-resistant, fast-growing seedlings. Guess what? The crops were beset by the cocoa-pod borer, another player in all this, resistant to everything it seems, even elephant yam tuber spray and alternative food sources – if you were a borer with a choice between chocolate and greens, which would you pick? But that’s not my point. My point is, why now? Why did the cocoa pod borer suddenly rise up now? Why witches’ broom? Why frosty pod? And the Chinese. The Chinese are involved. Choc-free until the 70s, China's 1.4 billion consumers are developing a taste for chocolate, with sales worth more than $14 billion in 2014 and growing. I don't have to tell you what you get when you divide 14 by 2. Coincidence? I think not.
Already, we’re feeling the smack of scarcity. Prices are up and Cadbury Australia has followed its UK parent to cut over 7 per cent from its family block. Just what are they doing with the chocolate they cut off the blocks? It makes you think. But governments know very well where this ends. The Swiss have told them, and the Swiss are from Switzerland which is also where Toblerone is from. Have you ever noticed that Toblerone bars are not bars? They’re triangular, yes, like the Illuminati symbol. If you watch a Toblerone commercial on You-Tube, there’s sometimes an eye peering through a Toblerone, just like the eye at the base of the Illuminati symbol. If you think I’m lying, Google it.
Cacao was first cultivated by the Aztecs, who disappeared from planet Earth, although perhaps they didn’t start here in the first place. The Aztecs used cacao beans as money, as well as to make drinks. Cocoa was divine. It’s botanical name, theobroma cacao, means food of the gods, and the bitter drink was supposed to bestow the powers of the god of learning and wind. The cacao tree was thought to be a bridge between earth and heaven. At weddings, bride and groom exchanged cacao beans and drank hot chocolate.
But the final piece of our puzzle won’t be found in history. Brain science has finally recognised what’s long been known in lore. Chocolate makes us happy. Happiness is in short supply. Join the dots. Who has chocolate will rule us all. Our only hope in the short term is stockpiling. I’ve bought out current supplies of 90 per cent cacao blocks, which are now in a safe place. They may last until there’s a more permanent solution. I can’t say much, of course, but already, disease-resistant, high-yield, gorgeous-quality cacao trees are being tested at a secret location in the jungle. The work is slow and the risks are many. Worse, we may be too late. A commodity trader known only as Chocfinger has bought up 7 per cent of the world’s remaining cacao trees. I don’t know if Chocfinger is from Switzerland but friends, the beginning of the end may already be upon us. I love you all.