News+Politics April 8
INFOGRAPHIC: Just In Time For Easter - Where The World Gets Its Chocolate

If your home was lucky enough to receive a visit from the Easter Bunny this morning - or if you've simply found it hard to pass up all of the Easter-related goodies for sale in recent weeks - you've probably enjoyed at least a LITTLE bit of chocolate in the last while. (Just a little, though, right?)

You're not alone - Canadians consume an average 5.5 kilograms of chocolate each every year, which is a lot of Easter eggs. Where does it all come from?

The graphics team at the Guardian newspaper in the U.K. have compiled an infographic - itself made of delicious chocolate! - showing the flow of cocoa around the world last year, using data from April 2010 to March 2011:


The findings? Out of 4.24 million tonnes of cocoa produced last year, the biggest amount came from Ivory Coast, with 1.51 million tonnes. On the other side of the equation, tiny Holland led the importing nations, bringing in 0.72 million tonnes of cocoa in one year, well ahead of the United States' 0.45 million tonnes. (Holland is one of the leading producers of chocolate products in Europe.)

Of course, all is not always sweet with the treat industry. The cocoa trade has come under much criticism in recent years, due in no small part to the use of child labour in the Ivory Coast, among other places. Not long ago, Nestlé, one of the biggest chocolate producers in the world, announced that it will begin investigations into its labour practices, opening its Ivory Coast operations to auditors from the Fair Labor Association. The U.S. State Department has estimated that over 100,000 children work in the cocoa industry.

What can you do about it? The Fairtrade logo indicates chocolate that has been sourced from providers that pay cocoa farmers a "fair and living wage" for their work. Something to keep in mind when next Easter rolls around!

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A new map from the Guardian newspaper shows the major routes of the world cocoa trade - but it also shows what the continents would look like if they were made of delicious chocolate ...

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