In the paper “The Chocolate War” the author analyzes a civil war that has left the country divided and economically devastated. The Ivory Coast provides 40% of the world’s supply of cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, and ongoing political instability have badly disrupted the industry…
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The war has also set back attempts by the world’s large chocolate companies to curb the use of child labor and help improve the lives of the people in the Ivory Coast by teaching them new farming techniques and business practices. Worse still for the Ivory Coast, where the incomes of six million people – about 35% of the population – are linked to cocoa farming, is that chocolate companies may begin rethinking their reliance on the country amid fears of continuing political instability. “If things don’t improve,” says Anne Prendergast, an analyst with the commodities trading firm Refco in New York, “over the next five years one may see a gradual erosion of production from the Ivory Coast.” In the succeeding weeks the rebels and the government have made progress toward peace. The next several months are critical. If the Ivory Coast can begin to mend its shredded political and social fabric, it may be able to undo the damage already don to its cocoa economy. But if unrest continues, the situation could become dire for both the country’s cocoa farmers and the world’s companies. The war turned any of the major cocoa centers in the western part of the Ivory Coast in the battlefields. Farmers abandoned their crops to flee the rebel advance. Iberian mercenaries fighting alongside the rebels seized the entire northern half of the country before French peacekeepers intervened to separate the warring sides. The prospect of further political problems spooks international chocolate executives. So far, no chocolate company has pulled out.
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1 Pages(250 words)Case Study
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