Cocoa Shortage Puts Easter In Jeopardy

(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Font Size:

Christians around the globe will soon be making preparations for the Easter holiday. However, the fact that global cocoa shortages are driving up the price of chocolate could dampen the celebrations.

Severe winds off the West African coast caused by the El Nino weather system have devastated cocoa crops on the continent, sending prices spiraling, according to the BBC. The commodity is currently commanding almost $6000 a ton on the global market, around twice what it was just 12 months earlier, massively driving up the costs of chocolate producers, the BBC reported.

America’s largest chocolate brand, Hershey’s, has seen its shares tumble 30% since May. The company is preparing to undertake a series of cost-cutting measures, which could see up to 5% of staff losing their jobs in an effort to keep price rises to a minimum, according to Reuters.

In the Christian faith, Easter is a time in which the passing and resurrection of Jesus Christ is solemnly commemorated. Over the centuries, many Western countries have acquired traditions of exchanging gifts like painted eggs, candy and particularly chocolate, presented in mythology by the Easter Bunny or Hare as a treat for well-behaved children. (RELATED:‘Eggs-travagant’: Thief Pulls Off Massive Cadbury Creme Egg Heist)