It is hard to watch this video without smiling. Cocoa bean farmers from M’batto on the Ivory Coast, the world’s leading producer of cocoa, have never tasted the fruits of their labor. They harvest and process the cocoa beans without any idea what they are used for; most have never seen or tasted chocolate. The prevailing theory seems to be that the beans are made into wine.
Metropolis TV visited groups of farmers and gave them their first taste of chocolate, recording their reactions.
N’Da Alphonse, the first farmer to take a bite, says that he doesn’t even know what the cocoa beans he’s working hard to harvest and dry are used for. For all his hard work producing the beans, he only makes seven euros a day. In M’batto, a bar of chocolate costs two euros.
Kouassi offers him a bar to eat, and he immediately lights up. “I did not know that cocoa was so yummy,” he says. “Delicious.”
He takes another bar to his friends. They’re excited, but suspicious. “Are you really 100 percent sure that this is made from cocoa beans?” one man asks.
The farm workers pass the bar around to each other, marveling at the taste and teasing Kouassi good-naturedly. They break out into a cheer when a third is offered.
“We complain because growing cocoa is hard work,” one of the workers says, having taken his first bite. “Now we enjoy the result. What a privilege to taste it.”