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Here’s why you might have to spend a little more on your Valentine’s Day chocolate

By Christie Ethridge

February 16, 2020

Americans are expected to set another record for Valentine’s Day spending.

The National Retail Federation says people will spend 20 percent more than they did last year. Of course, chocolate is a popular gift. It turns out there’s more than one reason you could pay a little more for your chocolate this year.

When it comes to the top producers of chocolate, West African neighbors Ivory Coast and Ghana win by far, producing more than 60 percent of the world’s cocoa.

These are the beans industrial-makers like Nestle, Hershey’s and Mars buy.

Last summer, the countries announced a $400 premium called a Living Income Differential on every ton of chocolate for the 2020-2021 season in an effort to combat the extreme poverty cocoa farmers face.

“This is a very forward-looking program to try and create a living wage for these farmers. The subsidy is put in place to try to protect these farmers, but that means that the consumer has to pay this,” said Tom Smith, finance professor and economist at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

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