Ghanaians find it embarrassing that chocolate has made Belgium rich without cocoa plantation

Chocolate Shoe 3 File photo

Fri, 2 Dec 2022 Source: Joel Savage

This is not the first time I've written about Belgium, one of the richest nations in Western Europe without a single cocoa plantation, thanks to the thousands of people it employs in the chocolate industry. "At The Chocolate Museum In Antwerp" was published on ModernGhana on July 5, 2019, and "Ghanaians Will Cry If They Know What Comes Out Of Cocoa Beans In Belgium" was published on December 30, 2021.

I find it extremely embarrassing that my country Ghana, one of the top producers of cocoa in West Africa, doesn't know how to use the cocoa industry to build factories, employ thousands of unemployed youth, and generate income to sustain the economy like Belgium. This is why it seems like I can't stop writing about how chocolate has made Belgium rich. I have consistently argued that corruption and incompetence, rather than COVID or the Russia-Ukraine war, are to blame for our country's issues.

Numerous modest chocolate workshops as well as enormous factories for well-known international companies are successfully running in the nation. Some even belong under the artisanal umbrella, although they are made by hand and using antiquated methods. There are 170 members of the Belgian Chocolate and Confectionery Manufacturers' Association, or "Choprabisco," ranging from independent small firms to large corporations.

Despite making up a modest portion of the nation's overall GDP, the chocolate industry supports thousands of employment and, as a sector of the food industry, performs well and expands even during economic downturns. It's crucial to note that, in contrast to other sectors, this is the only one that continues to create and keep jobs. The food business employs roughly 80 thousand people in total.

Belgium's production of chocolate has not only made the nation wealthy but also well-known to the point that some phony chocolate manufacturers are using the country's name to attract clients. The association spokesman claims that while fraudulent items are simple to locate outside of Belgium, producers who respect their reputation in Belgium do not risk "diluting" their goods with vegetable oils. "Chocolate quality is guaranteed by law and is under the supervision of competent structures."

He claims that nearly all of Latin America's nations produce noble cocoa beans, which are more expensive and have a distinct flavor and aroma. "This topic is the subject of research. Establishing cocoa plantations in other areas could be a potential answer. This is what the sector is doing "the expert claims. Even though cocoa is a tropical product, I have a hunch that Belgium will eventually find a method to grow it in Europe.

If this innovation is successful, African nations will be the most impacted because there will be a decrease in the export of cocoa beans on the continent, which will cause an even greater economic catastrophe, since profits from the production of cocoa beans in Africa frequently end up in the private foreign banks of dishonest politicians.

Although the American and home European markets continue to play a key role in the total export structure, chocolate consumption in Europe has long since steadied and is not exhibiting adequate growth rates, therefore Asian markets are taking the lead. 78% of Belgium's total exports of chocolate, measured in dollars, are sent to nations in the EU.

Belgian cocoa beans are used to make a variety of items, including soap, creams, beer, biscuits, and waffles, in addition to chocolate. The leadership crisis in Ghana is the issue, as was already mentioned. Most politicians intend to amass wealth; therefore they lack the mental capacity to consider how the cocoa industry may create jobs.

"If the fool is thirsty in the abundance of water, then Ghanaians are indeed in the abundance of cocoa beans, yet the majority is suffering" The only way Ghana can succeed as a country is to elect a visionary leader who is willing to imprison corrupt politicians and use the nation's wealth to create jobs for the populace and boost the economy.

Columnist: Joel Savage