Global Chocolate Shortages & How We Will Manage

Global Chocolate Shortage

As many of you may have seen on the news, the world faces the very real threat of a global chocolate shortage! This has been caused by a number of factors all playing their parts in making the growth, harvest and processing of the cacao bean very challenging indeed. West Africa, where the majority of our cacao is grown, has seen heavier than usual rainfall (we can all appreciate that here in the UK too!) during the final months of 2023, and into 2024. This has led to plant diseases, poor harvest yields, and lower quality harvests too. A year ago, the global commodities price for cacao was around $2,800 per tonne. As of the end of March, it was $9,740 per tonne – more than triple that of just 12 months ago! This season, roughly 10% less cacao has been able to be harvested than usual, leaving a global shortfall of the key ingredient to chocolate.

Of course this has a massive impact on the whole chocolate industry worldwide, and while price increases across the industry over the coming months are inevitable, what are we doing at Chocolate Fayre to help ensure we maintain our chocolate supply?

Well, after taking our children to watch Wonka at the cinema for the third time (for research purposes, you understand!), I came up with a solution, inspired by Wonka’s rival’s collective chocolate storage system. All that we required was greater volumes of chocolate in reserve! Now, we know that our expansion plans next door into number 8 Horsemarket will give us more space, however to weather a global chocolate shortage storm, we need to think really big!

Horsemarket Blueprint (South Side)

Under every shop and business on our street, there are cellars. Some are used, some are not. Some are a damp nuisance for those operating the business above. However the network is substantial. And we have now contacted all of our neighbours to negotiate exclusive use of the entire network.

Horsemarket Chocolate Delivery

For those of you who have seen the Wonka movie, you’ll remember that Wonka’s chocolate rivals all stored their chocolate under the cathedral. While we don’t have a cathedral in Barnard Castle, we are just along the road from the Methodist Church, which has a very convenient loading area beside it where a chocolate carrying tanker could easily unload it’s melted chocolate directly into the cellar network.

Chocolate Filled Cellar Network

The cellar’s naturally slope downhill from the Methodist Church, along the street towards Chocolate Fayre, allows the flow of melted chocolate to make it’s way under the street and buildings to our shop.

Chocolate Filled Cellars

So, while global events may dictate that chocolate prices have to go up, we will certainly not leave you, our fine and discerning customers, short of quality chocolate any time soon!