In this incisive book, Kristy Leissle reveals how cocoa, which brings pleasure and wealth to relatively few, depends upon an extensive global trade system that exploits the labor of five million growers, as well as countless other workers and vulnerable groups.
As calls for justice in the industry have grown louder, Leissle reveals the possibilities for and constraints upon realizing a truly sustainable and fulfilling livelihood for cocoa growers, and for keeping the world full of chocolate.
As James Field wrote in his review for Geographical, reading Cocoa, “will guarantee you never look at chocolate the same way again.”
Politics & Trade Justice
- Cocoa, Polity Resources series, 2018
In Accra, find Cocoa at Vidya Bookstore.
- “Thriving Ecosystems: How the TSIRO Alliance in Madagascar redefines success for specialty cocoa,” Confectionery News, May 12, 2023
- “Reality check: What can we do about cocoa’s price?” op-ed with Brett Beach, ConfectioneryNews, 2022
- “Discover the politics behind the chocolate,” Divine Chocolate blog, 2018
- “Invisible West Africa: The Politics of Single Origin Chocolate,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, 2013 download Invisible West Africa
- “The Chocolate Fix,” Yes! magazine, 2012
"I am a Cocoa Farmer"
Cocoa Labor Realities
- “A case for infrastructure to help end child labor in cocoa,” Cocoa Matters, World Cocoa Foundation, 2020
- “To understand child labor, we need to understand everyone’s labor,” Cocoa Matters, World Cocoa Foundation, 2020
- “Reframing Success,” Nestlé Cocoa Plan, Tackling Child Labor report, 2019
Cocoa, Chocolate & Gender
- “To Fight Global Inequality, Empower Women,” The Chocolate that Champions Women, Divine Chocolate Impact Report, 2018-2019
- “Cosmopolitan Cocoa Farmers: Refashioning Africa in Divine Chocolate Advertisements,” Journal of African Cultural Studies, 2012 / download Cosmopolitan Cocoa Farmers
- “‘Artisan’ as Brand: Adding Value in a Craft Chocolate Community,” Food, Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 2017 download Artisan as Brand
- “What Does the Word ‘Artisan’ Mean?” Dandelion Chocolate blog, 2016
- “Has the Term ‘Artisan’ Lost its Art?” with Curtis Vreeland, ConfectioneryNews, 2016
Inside the Industry
- “Who Wins When Cocoa’s Price Rises? Parts I & II, Chocolopolis blog, 2018
- “Craft Chocolate Shakes Up Industry as its Sweet Season Begins,” The Conversation: Academic Rigor, Journalistic Flair, 2015
- “Racing the Melt: The Quest for Heat-Resistant Chocolate,” The Conversation, 2015
- “Labels of Love: How to Choose Chocolate for Your Valentine,” The Conversation, 2015
- “The Intrigue of Aaron Barthel, Master of the Ephemeral Chocolate Truffle,” Alimentum: The Literature of Food, 2013