Is Ebola Affecting Cocoa Production? Experts Say 'No'

West Africa is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans with an estimated 73 percent of the world's beans coming from the area, according to the International Cocoa Association. To date, the disease has not affected cocoa production.

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (PRNewswire) — The current Ebola outbreak is the largest in history, but the disease has not affected cocoa supply according to experts and featured in the November issue of Food Nutrition & Science.

West Africa is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans with an estimated 73 percent of the world's beans coming from the area, according to the International Cocoa Association. To date, the disease has not affected cocoa production and cocoa operations continue uninterrupted even as cocoa farmers on the Ivory Coast ramp up exports as a preventative measure.

"The good news is that while harvesting and shipping of cocoa in Ebola affected areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has been seriously curtailed, the combined cocoa production of those three countries is minor," says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report. "The Ivory Coast produces 40 percent of African cocoa it's Ebola-free."

According to Susan Smith, senior vice president of Communications at the National Confectioners Association, the main fall cocoa harvest is being harvested right now without disruption.

Also in this month's Food Nutrition & Science, the majority of U.S. children, including preschoolers, consume caffeine, although intake is on the decline, according to a recent report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The report looked at caffeine intake in children aged 2 to 19 years old and found that 71% of U.S. children consumed caffeine on a given day.

November's issue also includes part two of a GMO analysis that's reviewing all sides of the issue. In addition, this month, Grand Prairie Farm's Katie Pratt, who grows 5,500 acres of commercial corn, soybeans and seed corn with her husband and his family, describes what GMO's mean to her farm operation. Also information on artificial sweeteners, an interview with Jillian Beaty, an Agriculture Education Teacher in Wisconsin, and more.

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