• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

If you want to feed the people of the third world eat chocolate - Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

If you want to feed the people of the third world eat chocolate. Discuss. Human use of the cocoa bean can be traced back to around 600 BC where it was used as part of an ingredient in a hot, liquid beverage consumed by the Mayans in Central America. Around 2 millennia later, in 1491 AD, Christopher Columbus introduced cocoa into Spain. Columbus had discovered these seemingly dull and un-important beans during his expeditions to the Americas where at this time cocoa was being drunk by the Aztecs, in much the same way as it had been by the Mayans. There was one difference though, 'chocolatl' (meaning 'warm liquid') was a regal drink and very few people, mainly only the Emperor, ever had the chance to taste it; let alone the actual people who cultivated the bean. This situation appears to have remained the same for over 500 years, but just broadened to an international scale. In terms of the chocolate industry we are very much a global microcosm of the Aztec society. In England the average person will spend $98 per year on chocolate. 7 years ago the European chocolate industry was valued at $18,463 billion. Chocolate is a multinational industry and is sold everywhere in the world. However, chocolate has humble beginnings. Grown in many places from The Ivory Coast to Indonesia to Brazil, cocoa often starts its existence in poverty. Poor cocoa farmers in these countries grow acres of cocoa trees in plantations similar to the one in Figure 1. Cocoa farming does not depend on seasons, the countries that grow cocoa tend to have equatorial climates with evenly distributed annual rainfall. Fig. 1 Cocoa trees in an African plantation. So, with an all year round growing season it takes an expert eye to recognise by appearance which fruits are ripe. When these pods are identified they are removed one way or another dependant of their location on the cocoa tree. ...read more.

Middle

We are now familiar with the equatorial LEDC's climatic conditions, which are (excepting Hawaii) the only environmental circumstances that support the cultivation of the cocoa tree. We also know about the level of chocolate consumption and production that currently exists globally. So rationality would infer that these equatorial countries effectively dominating the cocoa market should be 'rolling in it'. Yet we also know that these countries remain LEDCs, some stricken with poverty and disease. At this point reason intervenes and we must realise that somewhere someone or something is cheating these small-scale cocoa producers. Cocoa production is an unsophisticated, un-mechanised and primitive industry, it is labour- intensive so cacao plantation owners normally employ workers when they are harvesting. Cocoa growers are not always poverty-stricken, some are extremely wealthy if they own enough plantations, but the people who work on the cocoa are plantations are invariably poor. Figure 6 is a house in Accra, the capital of Ghana, this represents the sort of living conditions that Ghanaian cocoa workers have. Behind that house is a Ghanaian luxury villa, of the sort that our rich, cacao plantation owners would inhabit. Fig. 6 Juxtaposing living conditions in Accra, Ghana. Plantation owners affect their workers quality of existence directly by how much they pay them, whether they themselves are rich or poor. In the equatorial LEDCs of study there is no minimum wage for workers; they are paid as little or as much as employers deem necessary, but there is also no minimum price for cocoa. Cocoa is a freely traded global commodity and its price is determined by the current supply and demand, previous attempts at establishing a minimum price for cocoa via the International Cocoa Agreements and the World Bank have failed and there were inter-governmental agreements to liberalise the market. This means that like the wages of plantation workers, cocoa prices can be as high or as low as buyers want them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The wealthy, large cocoa plantation owners will be able to join cooperatives and get better prices for their cocoa because of the minimum price and also live in a better area due to the social development fund from the premium. The wealthy government districts will deteriorate and perish, they were a cheating middleman and there is no longer any need for them because the small-scale cocoa producers have joined cooperatives that deal directly with the manufacturers. The small-scale chocolate companies will flourish and become Fair Trade MNCs because their goods will be widely distributed and more renowned as Fair Trade. The small-scale cocoa producers will have an increase in their income and a better standard of living because they will have Fair Trade customers who will buy as much as they produce which will also increase because they have higher yields due to pesticides, etc. The cocoa plantation workers lives will improve because they have an increase in income and their settlements, like the small-scale cocoa growers', are developing because of the minimum Fair Trade wage and social development fund. The other people in the LEDCs will have an increase in their standard of living due to the social development plan and the consumers in the UK and other MEDCs will be even happier because there is a higher amount of better quality cocoa in the chocolate they are eating resulting in the release of even more endorphins and dopamine and they still have a high standard of living. Maybe Cadburys are right and the second option could create a surplus of cocoa causing a collapse in the global market and catastrophic consequences to all the people in the equatorial LEDCs, but then maybe they are wrong and it won't. Personally I think it's worth risking it if there is any chance of reducing any of the poverty that over 1.5 billion people suffer in this world, poverty which, incidentally, could be completely eliminated by the combined financial power of the worlds seven richest men. Daniel Murphy Geography Coursework Page no. 1/7 Daniel Murphy ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics essays

  1. Free essay

    does uk housing market warrant government intervention

    The current situation is that unemployment levels are relatively high in the north, indicating there is a surplus of workers in relation to jobs. But there are low unemployment levels in the south; in fact there is a growing notion that businesses are finding it increasingly hard to acquire sufficient workers.

  2. Where does the World Trade Organisation fit in the overall scheme of international public ...

    Finally - to Tumlir the fatal flaw - GATT rules were hostage to the vagaries of "fuzzy diplomacy" and the willingness of governments to stick to them; they were not enforceable as private rights within national jurisdictions.51 The WTO has more "rules of law" than the GATT.

  1. Given the fact that Third World countries are underdeveloped (or developing); the causes that ...

    claim, they will still face underdevelopment as a result of " direct and indirect economic control of their First world and domestic opressors."7 A second stream of thought of the international dependence theory is the false paradigm model. This model places the underdevelopment of third world countries as a result

  2. Flower Industry in Netherlands

    As Netherlands is small in size of lands and population, Netherlanders keep seeking and developing all kinds of production ways that can increase productivity. As yet, the industrial way to produce natural crops is incredibly successful under monitoring of MPS project, which mandates growers to adopt a very productive but environmentally friendly way at the same time.

  1. Managing Environment - A report on investing in Ghana.

    ones after the end of apartheid, and are using South Africa as a springboard for their operations into the continent. Nepad will play a role in future in encouraging business in Africa. These investments however, are not made without risks.

  2. Free essay

    Globalisation and changing career patterns

    It also destroyed a skill base within a generation. Sadly, today's generation know very little about mining and many of our miners are past retirement age. Following the privatisation of the industry in the 1980's and with costs significantly increasing, profits began to be the driving factor.

  1. Multinational corporation (MNC)

    globe in order to sustain the US economy, while the arms manufacturers get their profits (Morgan, 2000).

  2. 'Globalisation should not be resisted.' What do you think?

    It is true that when we open ourselves to the world, the world in turn opens its diversity and variety to us.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work