Watch a cocoa farmer try chocolate for the first time




man that is screwed up everyone should be able to afford the fruit of their labor within reason.


Kind of a swirl of emotions watching this:

  • Amusement at the misconceptions of cocoa’s general use.
  • Joy of seeing people share an enjoyable new experience.
  • Discomfort with the economic realities that set up a situation like this.

… I feel while eating the modest first world lunch my station within this empire makes possible.


I am a glutton for chocolate, it is my first among all the sweets. I’ve intellectually known that growing cocoa is harsh, but now a face has been put to it. I had no idea that the farmers didn’t even know where the beans went or even what chocolate is! I’m crushed and am going to reevaluate eating chocolate.

Edit: I had forgotten that Fair Trade Chocolate existed until my wife reminded me. I guess that’s the way to go unless someone tells me that system is screwed up too. I’m really bothered by the farmers not knowing where their crop goes or what it’s meant for.


Well, I will continue to eat chocolate and I will appreciate it more now. It doesn’t seem like these men are being forced into slave labor. If this was a “blood diamonds” type of situation, yes I would rethink the decision to eat chocolate. These gentlemen don’t appear to live in a locale where chocolate is readily available otherwise they surely would have heard about it by now. Their lives are simple and I’m guessing that they’re content for the most part. Not everyone wants the American standard of a mortgage, a car payment and a medicine cabinet full of pharmaceuticals. They probably have better family lives and social interaction than most people we might know. Yes, they should be paid more for their work but remember that their expenses aren’t all that great either.


I suppose that chocolate doesn’t survive well in a tropical environment…
Sounds like a market opportunity for M&Ms:


I wonder what would be involved in coming up with a practical, affordable, and sustainable way for them to make chocolate themselves.


It did occur to me while watching the video to wonder just how that guy managed to have that chocolate on him without it completely melting. Happy that it didn’t though. A delightful vid.


Am guessing that obtaining sugar would be the problem (?). However, cocoa wine sounds very intriguing…


They apparently have a modest domestic sugar cane industry. I think that the main problem is that they don’t have any domestic chocolate market. (Those guys didn’t even know what chocolate was.)


The Fair Trade Chocolate Ripoff


Considering the price and apparent surge of local artisanal chocolate I just hope they gave him something that wasn’t complete ass. I guess it’s like coffee, what tastes good to one person isn’t good to others. Of course coming in at roughly $50 a pound bad chocolate is hard to swallow.


Look at their reactions to tasting it. If they could inexpensively make it, they’ll have a local market. Also, how much do you suppose some folks in the US and elsewhere would pay for chocolate produced by those growers?

I don’t think finding a market would be a problem. I just don’t know what’s involved in economically and sustainably producing it themselves. I don’t know what kind of infrastructure they currently have, and if there are realistic ways to sufficiently change that infrastructure and/or adapt to it.

Also, money being money, I’ve no doubt there are various people who’d prefer the status to remain quo.


I did wonder if some of the people in the video were pulling the journalist’s leg a bit, exaggerating how little they know about how their crop is used.


The ‘cab’ is better than the shiraz.


Chocolate might be a bit tough, but surely they could start drinking cocoa… just grind up the beans and add sugar.

Also, fractal slavery; these poor bastards are slaves of slaves.


Well shit then. We’re in a world of no fun arn’t we.


Nothing is as simple as commenting on a blog.
To our disgrace slavery is alive and well in the Ivory Coast.

That said, it would break my heart if no one saw this and did not try to set up some kind of chocolate making grower owned co-op in the Ivory Coast. One that maybe paid a fraction of their dividend in product to give back to the local community and to develop a local market.


I don’t want to put too fine a point on this, but that’s a lot important things that you don’t know. The price they would have to get the chocolate down to in order to sell it to someone making $7 a day would have to be extremely low. Also, they recently got out of a decade long civil war and it sounds as if a lot of infrastructure got either destroyed or severely neglected. See:


I work in chocolate, and while fair trade is okay, I prefer the direct trade model

I highly recommend Grenada chocolate along with Rococo (who use grenada chocolate exclusively). There is also Ritual chocolates

There are plenty of others as well and many fine chocolate makers around the world are working to make sure the cocoa farmers are getting better treatment and a fair amount for their trade. But do be prepared to pay anywhere from $7 and up for a bar.