The globe's largest producer of bulk chocolate announced it will continue conducting business with cocoa exporters in Ivory Coast, which is still navigating through a disputed presidential election, Bloomberg reports.
"There is no chocolate production without supply from Ivory Coast," Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer of Barry Callebaut, told the news service on Monday during an interview at a sweets fair in Cologne, Germany.
Alassane Ouattara is recognized for having won the West Africa nation's presidential election in November but incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refuses to cede power. Ouattara requested exporters of cocoa and coffee cease shipments for 30 days as a method of cutting off funds to Gbagbo and a strategy of driving him from power.
Online lobby group Avaaz said 233,000 members have been asking the chocolate industry to temporarily cease deliveries of chocolate. Barry Callebaut, based in Zurich, is one of those companies but declined the requests. Cargill announced it suspended purchasing from the Ivory Coast market.
Since the disputed election, cocoa futures have soared 17 percent. Shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, cocoa futures were down 1.14 percent, a $25 decrease to $2,160 per metric ton.