Forests cover 30% of the world, however between 1990 and 2016 the world lost 502,000 square miles of forest. The impact of this on climate change is undeniable but the mass destruction of trees and deforestation continues, sacrificing the long-term benefits of standing trees for short-term gain.
Our novel process has the potential for creating a major long term environmental impact. It means that countries producing cacao, mostly in tropical climate belts, will be able to grow, manufacture and export higher value added products with medicinal and functional benefits. The macro and micro economic benefits release potential multiplier effects that will impact on poverty, the environment and the socio-economic structure of the host economies. This is particularly evident in smaller countries that have solely rural economies and high levels of poverty. The ability to obtain higher cacao prices will allow domestic producers to have a wide choose of buyers rather than the current [oligopolistic] pricing model driven by chocolate producers.
It could mean that the market price will increase as demand for functional food and medical product are produced at a higher price than the confectionery markets goods. The ability to produce products with higher values will create a better value proposition in developing countries willing to exploit these opportunities. As the value of cacao for medical and functional use is recognised there will be more incentive to plant trees and cultivate under tropical forest canopies as the return to capital invested increases.