Benson Hill And Mars Inc Have Developed Technology To Protect The Cacao Tree
Cacao trees are the sole source of beans used in the manufacturing of chocolate. However, with the rising temperatures, specifically in the tropical forests, the trees are facing the danger of extinction.
It is with this concern that Benson Hill and Mars Inc. have come together to offer innovative solutions to saving the cacao tree. Benson Hill is an agricultural technology company that is based in St Louis. On the other hand, Mars Inc. is the leading candy manufacturer globally and is a specialist in breeding cacao, having invested in it for more than 20 years.
The partnership is aimed at improving the climate resiliency and productivity of the cacao trees after researching their genome.
Benson Hill has come up with an innovative technology platform that has the ability to combine big data and machine learning with genome editing and biology so as to speed up the growth process. Moreover, the plants are made more resilient to diseases and climate change. The CEO of Benson Hill, Matt Crisp, stated that the greatest beneficiaries of this innovative technology are both the consumers and farmers.
With the tropical regions being limited to West Africa, South America and Asia, farmers of the cacao trees face challenges from the limited water supply as well as the ever increasing temperatures. However, with this project, farmers will be able to produce more produce from smaller portions of land.
Mars chocolates are in huge demand, especially during holidays such as Halloween, Easter and Valentine’s Day. Over 2.8 billion pounds are consumed every year. As a result, solutions must be developed to protect the cacao tree and ensure that this demand can be met.