NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you love chocolate as much as I do, this article will speak to your desire always to have enough.
Whether it's dark chocolate, or milk, or both, the desire for this cocoa-based confection and all its psychological benefits is greater than ever. Yet there are concerns about the production of the bean from which chocolate is derived.
The companies that buy cocoa and make chocolate products are working closely with the farmers in areas where cocoa is grown. Crop yields have been diminishing, but the demand for the scrumptious product is increasing annually.
That's why chocolate-treat makers are pledging funds to help farmers learn the latest agricultural secrets about growing abundant supplies. Mars made headlines not long ago by saying it would spend $30 million a year over the next 10 years towards that goal.This lucrative and virtually recession-proof business of providing candies, cookies and other chocolate goodies is on the minds of some activist investors of late. The rumor mill has been churning. Speculation is swirling that Bill Ackman may try soon to raise around $1 billion this month for a new stock fund. He supposedly wants to target promising companies that need some prodding. Industry insiders have a short list of potential large-cap companies that may warrant Mr. Ackman's attention. One of those is Mondelez International (MDLZ - Get Report), the Kraft Foods (KRFT) spinoff that has floundered lately. MDLZ, among other snack foods makes cookies, crackers and confectionery products, including chocolates, gums and candies. It offers powdered beverages, coffee, cheese and grocery products. Its primary brand portfolio includes Oreo-, Nabisco- and LU-branded biscuits. In the confectionery department, its brands include Milka, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Cadbury.