DENVER — This is harvest time for cocoa beans in West Africa, but with borders closed between Ebola-stricken countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, many of the migrant workers who pick the pods, are unable to get to the plantations. That could mean plants would be left in the trees, which could cause prices of cocoa to spike.
“Ghana and the Ivory Coast produce at least 60 percent of the world’s cocoa,” said Virginia Whetstone, owner of Whetstone Chocolate. The speculators who agree to set prices for raw cocoa don’t know how the Ebola epidemic is going to affect the harvest and production of it.”
Around town, you will notice candy bars might be a few cents more than two weeks ago, because prices spiked at the end of September.
But, when the borders were closed off, prices backed off a bit. Many say that is a good thing, because higher chocolate prices at Halloween could make the next holiday as expensive as Christmas.
At Gigi’s Cupcakes, they say they haven’t had to raise prices on their chocolate products, and over at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory word is the same… they will hold prices down as long as we can.
Some candy makers are saying they have noticed the price for cocoa has jumped two percent, but that was before borders were closed.
As they say, we now truly do live in a global economy, Ebola is bringing that point home.