- Chocolate Supplies Buoyed as Ecuador Cocoa Beats El Nino
- Ecuador , already the world’s biggest grower of flavored beans used in fine chocolate, is poised to extend its lead over Brazil as the top cocoa producer in the Americas as exporters forecast a record harvest.
- Cocoa output probably will rise about 9 percent to 240,000 metric tons in 2014 on government assistance programs, new plantings and as concern eases that the El Nino weather phenomenon would curb yields, according to Ivan Ontaneda, president of Ecuador’s National Cocoa Exporters Association, known as Anecacao. That’s 14 percent more than the International Cocoa Organization’s 210,000-ton forecast and 20 percent higher than its estimate for Brazil, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, based on information from the group.
- The South American nation, where the fatty beans used to make chocolate have been grown since pre-Columbian times, is taking advantage of increased demand for fine chocolate in emerging markets as economic growth boosts salaries and makes luxury items more accessible, Ontaneda said. A new trade agreement reached last month with the European Union, the world’s biggest consumer of fine chocolate, will also help spur investment in and production of Ecuadorean cocoa, he said in an interview at his office in Guayaquil.
- “Weather conditions in the fields have been good so far,” Ontaneda, who’s also chief executive officer of cocoa exporter Eco-Kakao SA, said Aug. 25. “There’s not a single cocoa bean that goes unsold.”
- Arriba Beans
- An outbreak of the witches’ broom fungal disease in Brazil reduced the nation’s crop last year. Repeated outbreaks of the disease since the 1980s displaced Brazil from the position of top producer and have since discouraged planting, while West African countries took the lead. TheIvory Coast is the world’s top producer, followed by Ghana.
- Calls to Brazil’s Cocoa Chamber in the Agriculture Ministry went unanswered. Officials at Brazil’s National Agriculture Confederation weren’t immediately available to comment.
- While Ecuador’s Arriba varietal is used in fine chocolate, ordinary or bulk beans are used for mass production. Chocolate makers like Nestle SA (NESN), the world’s biggest food company, operate in the Andean nation.
- Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said yesterday it remains on El Nino watch even as the onset of the weather event that brings drought to the Asia-Pacific region and heavier-than-usual rains toSouth America may be delayed to the end of the year.
- “Risks from El Nino have decreased and if it’s going to occur, it will be light to moderate,” Ontaneda said. “If rains start in November or December, it’ll be considered a normal rainy season.”
- Credit Lines
- Growers are working with the government to double yields to an average 20 quintals per hectare (2.47 acres), Ontaneda said. A quintal in Ecuador equals 45.36 kilograms (100 pounds).
- The nation’s Agriculture Ministry is working to develop credit lines for growers and already provides fertilizers and training on how to prune and improve post-harvest fermentation that gives the cocoa its distinctive flavors, Ontaneda said.
- The government is also creating incentives for banana growers, the country’s biggest agricultural export, to switch to cocoa because it pay workers more and requires fewer environmentally-damaging chemicals, he said.
- Price Surge
- Cocoa has jumped 19 percent to $3,216 a ton on the ICE Futures U.S. in New York so far this year. Prices will fall to an average $2,992 a ton in 2015, according to the median forecast of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Cocoa for December delivery was little changed at $3,217 at 9:45 a.m. in New York after touching $3,300, the highest since May 2011.
- Prices may rise to as high as $3,400 by the end of the year and won’t fall below $2,800 as growing demand for fine chocolate in China benefits global producers, according to Ontaneda. He forecasts a 100,000-ton supply deficit this year and a shortage of about 800,000 tons by 2020. That should translate into long-term prices of $3,000 to $4,000, he said.
- “We’re going to have sustained prices for a long time,” Ontaneda said.
- Exporters are also working to improve the traceability of beans to improve Ecuador’s reputation as a high-quality producer. Consumers increasingly want to know where their chocolate comes from as well as what labor and environmental conditions are in the country of origin, Ontaneda said.
- “We don’t want to only increase production, we want that production to be very high quality,” he said. “In this, Ecuador is a global benchmark.”
- To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Gill in Quito at firstname.lastname@example.org
- To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at email@example.comSteven Frank
Thursday, August 28, 2014
at 6:51 AM
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
JULY 14, 2014
In his classic work on the French Revolution, Pierre Gaxotte shows the abysmal difference that exists between the respect shows by the Ancien Regime for the legitimate liberties of the individual and the family and the strong inclination of the modern State to meddle in the intimate lives of its citizens, a tendency which appeared with the advent of liberalism.
Before the nineteenth century, men lived freely in the intimacy of their homes and family circles; a man was investigated only if he was seriously suspected of committing a crime, professing a heresy, or fomenting a conspiracy. A citizen of the liberal State, however, is always treated as a suspect, even before doing something dangerous.
He is measured, weighed, and cataloged by the agents of the State. File cards are kept on him by the most different agencies, as personal data on him and his family are filed, compared, and cross-examined. The State wants to know what his ideas and habits are, how much he earns and where he invests his money, whether he has a car or owns real estate, and so on.
Having written his book a few decades ago, Pierre Gaxotte could not cover the most sophisticated devices for investigating people’s private lives. Such devices now permit not only the State but just about any person or organization to record what people discuss with their friends and relatives; whether it be on the telephone, in their offices, or in their bedrooms.
Gaxotte referred only to the liberal State. But out of liberalism came its offspring, the totalitarian State. Whether it be of the fascist or communist variety, totalitarianism always has the goal of implanting socialism. Since socialism is contrary to human nature, it makes its habitat only in an atmosphere of police oppression, in which the needs of the individual and the family are sacrificed in behalf of the interests of the Party.
In countries where totalitarian regimes were not installed, the consequences of the French Revolution led to the implantation, to a greater or lesser degree, of societies having a totalitarian tendency, a set of conditions either imposed by a Messianic party or determined by the idolatry of technology.
When technology replaces morality and society “emancipates” itself from the maternal tutelage of the Church, there is a withering of legitimate individual and family freedoms. Whether it is imposed by the State of by technology, totalitarian society is the stepmother of the “emancipated” man of the twentieth century.
Idolatry of technology has made life unbearable for men. In the 50’s and 60’s, TFP leaders wrote a number of articles characterizing what people are presently calling environmental pollution. Now it has become a fad to talk against smoke, noise of motors, devastation of forests, and congested traffic.
In Lenin and Stalin’s time, international Communism promoted the development of super workmen to function more or less as robots serving the dictatorship of the proletariat. Now Communism preaches against the environmental pollution caused by the industry when this helps to explain the economic decadence of the socialist countries or to weaken the economic and military strength of the West.
Environmental pollution is obviously an evil, but we must keep a sharp eye on those who are fighting against it. Above all, it is necessary to struggle against another, much more pernicious pollution, one that the leftist intelligentsia hardly mentions if at all. We refer to the mental and moral pollution created by a mass media that wants to form people’s thoughts and habits and to break down their families by aggressive provocations to immorality, as well as that produced by the continuous barrage of advertising and propaganda and by the modern art that is deforming people’s mentalities.
In the midst of this noisy traffic assaulting the mind, who can find the calm to think about the pell-mell of events with discernment? Isn’t it true that contemporary man feels dazed under the daily load of disconcerting and illogical reports on international affairs?
Consider just one of the thousand frauds imposed on people every day: for many years now, the media have painted any anti-communist government as dictatorial and corrupt. Why is so little said about the crimes of communist governments such as those of Russia, China, Cuba, Yugoslavia, and so on? Why is there such an outcry for free elections in every part of the non-communist world but no uproar demanding free elections in the communist countries?
The Technological “All Seeing Eye”
Separated from morality, technology makes life intolerable for man even in what was formerly his most intimate privacy. Today, recorders and listening devices have become so developed that no one can be certain that his conversation is not being monitored.
It has always been relatively easy to intercept telephone communications. But now the science of bugging telephones has reached the point where conversations on a multiple wire cable can be picked by electronic means and recorded without any physical contact with the wire. Private conversations can be monitored from a distance even through walls of solidly constructed houses. Pages of a confidential report being typed by a secretary can easily be photographed from another building over 100 yards away. Our technology in this field is so advanced that the Soviet Chamber of Commerce invited several American companies to Russia to exhibit their most modern anti-crime technology, such as machines that identify people by their voices, lie detectors, etc. No doubt the KGB will find many uses for these machines…
So then, the unlimited liberty that was promised as a pretext for overthrowing the Ancien Regime and “emancipating” society from the tutelage of the Church has proven to be a baseless chimera. Never has the human race has a tyranny so oppressive and detailed as that imposed in the name of liberty by the French Revolution.
at 6:42 AM