Climate change blamed as Easter egg prices rise by 50%

 In Climate Change, News

Many munching into their Easter eggs this week will be shocked to discover that prices this year have risen by up to 50 per cent – and it is all due to climate change.

Most chocolate is made from cocoa grown in West Africa, but a humid heatwave has hit the crops and massively cut yields this year.

Midlands energy expert Ron Fox said cocoa trees are particularly vulnerable to changes in the climate as they grow only in a narrow band of about 20 degrees latitude around the Equator.

Since February this year severe drought conditions have hit the region caused by record-breaking temperatures that soared above 40C, breaking records in the cocoa producing countries of the Ivory Coast and Ghana. The high temperatures increased the rate of evaporation, leaving the crops with insufficient moisture.

Also in December last year, both countries experienced intense rains which were more than double the 30-year average for that time of year. The wet and humid conditions allowed a fungal infection, black pod disease, to flourish, rotting the cocoa beans on the trees.

A third factor was El Niño, which is a recurring, natural change in weather patterns in the tropical Pacific that drives up global temperatures and can lead to extreme weather in some places. It has been active since last June.

This has caused the price of cocoa to more than treble since this time last year and double in just the last three months to almost $8,500 (£6,700) a tonne this month.

In 2023, 58m kilogrammes of cocoa beans worth £127m were imported to the UK from the Ivory Coast and Ghana with 85 per cent of the UK’s cocoa beans coming from the Ivory Coast.

There are around two million smallholder farmers in the West African cocoa belt who rely on this labour-intensive crop for most of their income.

A study by the World Weather Attribution group, based at Imperial College London, found these weather conditions were caused probably by greenhouse gas emissions. They said that unless the world quickly reduces its use of fossil fuel, West Africa would experience similar heatwaves about every two years.

Increasingly, climate change driven by fossil fuel use is multiplying this natural challenge in many regions. It fuels more extreme conditions, devastates harvests, and makes food costs higher for all, a spokesman for the group said.

“Wealthy countries like the UK will need to provide financial and technical support to developing countries to help these farmers cope better with the extreme weather,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park (

But he warned that as climate change worsens, more and more support would undoubtedly be needed to protect West African farmers’ livelihoods and to keep the flow of cocoa beans coming into the UK.

If you want any energy advice, contact Ron on 01782 756995 or go to

Caption: Cracking display – but the price of Easter eggs has soared by up to 50 per cent this year.

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