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Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa
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Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Chocolate - the very word conjures up a hint of the forbidden and a taste of the decadent. Yet the story behind the chocolate bar is rarely one of luxury...

From the thousands of children who work on plantations to the smallholders who harvest the beans, Chocolate Nations reveals the hard economic realities of our favourite sweet. This vivid and gripping exploration of the
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 12th 2012 by Zed Books (first published 2011)
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Feb 22, 2011 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a comprehensive view of the chocolate industry, following the chain from African farmers to European consumers and explaining exactly why the cocoa farmers receive just 4% of the price of the average UK bar of milk chocolate. It's well written and well researched, mixing history with present-day politics to great effect, and illustrating it all with carefully chosen personal stories.

I thought the chapter on Fairtrade was a little, well, unfair. Fairtrade gives a guaranteed fair minimum p
2.5 stars

This book was interesting, but I thought it was poorly written. For example, the author mentions that farmers don't necessarily sell their cocoa beans to Fair Trade organizations because there are an abundance of buyers, and at the end of the book she says that there are very few buyers and that this is a bad thing for farmers. Which is it? Also, she alternately calls farmers smallholders, producers and farmers. I knew smallholders was a synonym, but until the end of the book I though
Melissa Stebbins
Jul 30, 2011 Melissa Stebbins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as part of the LibraryThing early reviewers program. I'd heard a little bit about the chocolate trade and the issue of child labour and slave labour associated with it through worldvision and our unshackled group at church so I was pleased to be able to get a copy of this book written by a journalist with first hand experience in West Africa.

Orla Ryan gives an excellent overview of the history of the chocolate trade and the politics and systems in these countries. As always
Mar 06, 2011 Carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
A thought-provoking look at Ghana and Ivory Coast, which produce about two-thirds of the world's supply of cocoa beans, and the contributions, both good and bad, that the cocoa industry makes to the lives of the people of those countries. Ryan goes beyond superficial impressions to show how the cocoa trade developed in these countries and how a lack of government accountability and investment have prevented the producers from reaping all the benefits from their role in the chocolate industry.
Liliana Bachelder
books describes cocoa industry in Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire. REALLY needed a good editor as the author repeats facts and conditions over and over. On the other hand, it is a good intro to a significant commodity in West Africa.
Tom Griggs
Good overview of a corrupt industry, but a somewhat superficial treatment of a very interesting topic... I would love to see what Tom Zoellner would've written about cocoa.
Nina Chachu
May 12, 2013 Nina Chachu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, ghana, non-fiction
Very interesting journalistic account of the cocoa sector in Ghana and Nigeria.
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