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Chinese Investors Pursue Food of the Gods (Chocolate)

Touch the Soil News #508 (Feature Photo – Aztec sculpture with cocoa pod) The cocoa bean (or cacao bean) grows on the trunks of the cacao tree. It grows in tropical zones and is processed after harvesting to make cocoa solids and cocoa butter – the basis of chocolate. The cacao tree is native to the Americas and has been cultivated for its bean for almost 5,000 years. Today, 75 percent of the cacao beans are produced in Africa, 15 percent in the Americas and about 10 percent in Oceania. Cocoa beans drying in the sun (photo courtesy of Irene Scott/AusAID). In order to assure a reliable supply of this…

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Will Hershey Chocolate Survive Financial Staging?

Touch the Soil News #478 Over the past three (3) months, Hershey has been wrestling with an unsolicited takeover bid by Mondelez. Mondelez is one of the world’s largest snack companies with brands like Oreo Cookies. As fate would have it, 81 percent of the voting shares in Hersheys are controlled by the Hershey Trust and the Trust does not want to sell. Frustrated, Mondelez just announced that it would stop its unsolicited attempts at buying Hershey. However, the Hershey Trust has been under investigation for improper management of funds, and is being forced to restructure its board of directors. A year from now, the new Hershey Trust board may…

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