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New Technology Determining Origin of Cocoa Beans to Ensure Ethical Trade

The chocolate industry has been failing to encourage responsible sourcing of cocoa as different farms are involved in the mix of crops early in the supply chain. In light of this development, a new technology using “biomarkers” is being developed to make sure that every brand of chocolate bar is an ethical treat

Why is Tracing of Origin Difficult in the Global Cocoa Bean Trade

As it is, about 70% of the world’s cocoa crops are grown in small farms either in Ghana or the Ivory Cost. The harvested crops are collected by small scale traders who will take them to larger facilities, which in turn trade the crops in bulk in the international market.

That being the case, tracing beans from their origins for Fairtrade certification purposes has become extremely difficult. Actually, popular chocolate brands like KitKat and Cadbury Dairy Milk have stopped using ethical labels, as self-certification has become the better practice.

Using Biomarkers to Establish Origin of Cocoa Beans<.h3>

A new method developed to make progress in the battle against the environmental destruction and human misery caused by some players in the cocoa trade. Since chocolate manufacturers are encouraged to use only cocoa grown in farms that observe ethical, humane and sustainable practices. Establsihing a biomarker for every cocoa bean grown in a farm or region can drastically change a trade rife with abuses and distress.

The new method being developed requires the creation of a database that will make possible, the tracing of the farm where the cocoa used as ingredient, came from.

Reports have it that on a small scale, the biomarker technology has been successul in pilot studies. The method is scalable and can therefore be used on a larger scale to prevent the abuses taking place in the chocolate supply chains.