Like any human activity, growing chocolate has its challenges. What are the particular obstacles? In the case of the main cocoa bean producers around the world, the main environmental impacts are as follows.
One of the main negative impacts, and not only related to chocolate production, is the need for agricultural land. This is obtained through deforestation and the clearing of rainforests in particular.
Although chocolate can have a positive effect on human health, it must not be produced in a way that harms human health from the other side.
Another major impact on the environment we live in is forced child labour. This is a particular problem for African and South American cocoa bean producers.
International organisations are therefore advocating that children should not be forced into chocolate production as cheap labour.
A third major negative environmental impact is the unfairness often associated with the purchase of the basic raw material for the production of popular chocolate. The aim is that the producers and manufacturers themselves should be paid fairly and adequately.
To this end, some governmental and non-governmental organisations have set up various certificates to ensure fairness in the production of a given type of chocolate.
The effort is rewarding
If we are to fairly assess progress in reducing the impact of chocolate production on the environment in which we live, then we must conclude that progress is being made. The initiative, which has even involved Britain's King Charles III, has resulted, for example, in the aforementioned labelling by certificates.
Another piece of good news is that more than 12 major global chocolate producers have already signed up to the joint cocoa growing targets, and more are joining in.