Peter Moustakerski buys his chocolate from a company in San Francisco that he trusts to source its cacao beans from places that pay their farmers a fair wage.
But Voila -- Moustakerski's make-your-own chocolate shop on the Upper West Side -- accounts for only a tiny fraction of the $110 billion the world shells out for chocolate every year. And not every distributor follows the same code of ethics as Moustakerski's believes his does. He says wars, the collapse of the regime in the Ivory Coast, and more didn't stop the cacao trade.
And it seems an Ebola outbreak either bordering or a nation away from the two countries that produce as much as 75 percent of the world's cacao beans won't stop it either. But it may change the makeup of a Cadbury Creme Egg in the United Kingdom.
That company announced it would both raise prices and use a lower-quality chocolate in its signature Easter treat partially because of the closed border between the Ivory Coast and both Guinea and Liberia.
Here in the United States, Cadbury's milk chocolate recipe and the price of its eggs remains the same. For now.
Moustakerski said climate change is also a threat to the supply chain. A warming planet threatens to reduce the number of places this finicky plant can grow.
And while chocolate should remain readily available for familiar prices this valentine's day, Moustakerski worries the geopolitical, socioeconomic, historical environmental, and human rights problems surrounding the chocolate trade may one day lead to a world where chocolate is a rare and expensive commodity.