- Title: Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa
- Author: Órla Ryan
- ISBN: 9781848130050
- Page: 366
- Format: Paperback
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 theChocolate 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 reasons behind farmer poverty includes the human stories of the producers and traders at the heart of the West African industry Orla Ryan shows that only a tiny fraction of the cash we pay for a chocolate bar actually makes it back to the farmers, and sheds light on what Fairtrade really means on the ground Provocative and eye opening, Chocolate Nations exposes the true story of how the treat we love makes it on to our supermarket shelves.
Recent Comments "Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa"
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 [...]
3 Stars While Órla Ryan definitely addresses some important issues,Chocolate Nationsis not quite the "shocking exposé" it promises to be. The subtitle of people "living and dying for cocoa" may be slightly accurate, but it is awfully exaggerated; Ryan spends more time discussing academic aspects of what has contributed to the conditions, such as how much smallholders were paid under various regimes. While still interesting, it is not what the book appears to be on the surface. The conditions t [...]
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.
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.
Irish journalist Órla Ryan cracks open the chocolate industry with a short book about the myriad of problems that circle its core, the western African nations of Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where the majority of the world's cocoa beans are grown. She delves into the messy politics, the black-on-black racism, the hatred of foreigners, constant military presence, the suppression of journalism, the violence of kidnap and murder, and child labour - all issues that have affected the industry at one t [...]
I had to read this book for a class. I am in a book club and wish I had read it for that so I have someone to discuss this book with. Like a lot of the other reviews, I felt that this book could have been better written/better editing.I seemed to get confused occasionally with contradicting ideas that the author observed or talked about. I just wanted to ask someone, is it this or isn't it?I was expecting more of a war shed book so the description, I felt was deceiving. If your looking for answe [...]
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 [...]
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.
An interesting, if slightly academic, look at a problem too often overlooked by those who eat chocolate - the terrible conditions and exploitation suffered by many (and many of them children) who are involved in the production of the chocolate that makes its way to supermarkets and stores throughout the world. While most people will continue to consume mindlessly, hopefully books like this one will get people thinking about what practices they are supporting with the food they choose to buy.
Very interesting journalistic account of the cocoa sector in Ghana and Nigeria.
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