From bean to bar – where does your chocolate come from?

“When I told people I was writing a book about cocoa”, says Orla Ryan, “I frequently ended up being asked which was the best chocolate to buy”.

The people who asked this question often distrusted large companies, they had read about the thousands of children who work in plantations, and wanted to buy chocolate from a company which looked after smallholders.

Orla Ryan is a former Reuters commodities reporter in Ghana where she lived for two years until the end 0f 2007. She followed the cocoa market in unusual depth and what she found it was very different from the daily reports that the commodity traders and reporters read in their computer screens in their offices in London. In the Chocolate Nations, she writes about how the industry works in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, how farmers are treated and their relationship with companies like Cadbury.

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