It’s one of the paradoxes of globalization – many of the people who produce the raw materials for products we take for granted can’t afford to buy those products themselves.
Take the case of cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, the world’s leading exporter of cocoa beans. (The country produces more than 30% of all the beans grown worldwide.) As this CNN infographic explains, only 3% of the money you pay for a chocolate bar makes it back to the farmers who grow the beans. The rest goes to the people further up the supply chain, the ones who transform the beans into chocolate and sell it it stores across the globe. Ivory Coast farmers make roughly $10 a day, putting a $2 chocolate bar out of reach.
So it was a heartwarming occasion when Selay Marius Kouassi, a reporter for the Netherlands’ Metropolis TV, traveled to the Ivory Coast to introduce cocoa farmers to the sweet taste they’d helped bring into the world.
Unlike the story of a Chinese factory worker who had never seen the iPads he helped produce, this one appears to be legit. As N’Da Alphonse, the first farmer in the clip, explained, he knew his cocoa beans were turned into food, but he never knew exactly what kind.
When he tasted Kouassi’s chocolate bar for the first time, his eyes lit up. “Delicious!” he exclaimed.
“I did not know that cocoa was so yummy,” he told Kouassi.
Later, Alphonse introduced some of his laborers to the chocolate. “White people are addicted to it,” he told them.
Just like Alphonse, the men were enthralled.
“We complain because growing cocoa is hard work,” said one. “Now we enjoy the result. What a privilege to taste it.”