For decades, cocoa has been the subject of debate, policies, international agreements, physical and financial contracts. The Aztecs and Mayas had been right using, as early as the 600s, the cocoa bean as a coin, as money. Even today, cocoa is one of the world’s major commodities, listed on the stock market just like gold, oil, the dollar or US Treasury Bonds. A cocoa bean whose price evolves, certainly, according to its own market fundamentals – supply and demand – but also according to the moods, rumors and intuitions of investors, speculative or not. A cocoa price that is all the more volatile as it is listed on the financial markets of London and New York, allowing market participants to juggle between the two, to arbitrate, often based only on fluctuations between exchange rates …. Not to mention the impact of the trigger levels, leading to the automatic buying or selling of cocoa contracts.
At a time of sustainability, growing consumer concerns, NGOs, lobby action relating to environment, child labor, social issues, at a time when, in Europe, people are worried about migration, about these young people who dream of a different world, to live well, to earn money, to live in citier rather than sweating in fields, we begin to hear – perhaps not yet to listen – those who want to put the cocoa farmer at the center stage of the debate on the supply chain, from the bean to the chocolate bar.
This implies to debate and reflect not only on the organization of the sector and the market, but also on the logics, on the automatisms of reasoning and operation. The evidence of the cocoa market may not be immutable.
The commodafrica.com team wishes you a good reading and will be very interested in your feedback. This dossier is on our website www.commodafrica.com