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Cocoa Shortage May Be 1 Million T by 2020, Blommer Says

May 9 (Bloomberg) -- Cocoa demand may exceed production by 1 million metric tons by 2020, creating a shortage of as much as 25 percent of the current global supply, according to Chicago-based Blommer Chocolate Co.

Consumption of the chocolate ingredient is estimated to rise by nearly 30 percent in the next 10 years, the company, which according to its website is the largest cocoa processor in North America, said in a statement distributed by PRNewswire today. Growth will be driven by rising population and rapid development in China, India and Brazil, Blommer Chocolate said. Cocoa output is forecast at 3.96 million tons in the season started in October, according to the International Cocoa Organization in London.

“Cocoa farming is a challenging pursuit given the low yields, high loss from pests and disease and low level of training and inputs farmers have historically received,” the company said in the statement. “This growing environment poses a daily issue for farmers and a significant supply risk to the industry.”

Blommer Chocolate said today it would invest $45 million in cocoa sustainability projects by 2020. The company has already invested nearly $13 million to date to help the cocoa sector meet rising demand, it added.

“While land-based expansion is not feasible, more environmentally desirable practices for existing cocoa farms are required to address the looming supply crisis,” it said.

Blommer has more than 650 employees and four processing facilities in North America, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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