Cocoa

About Cocoa

Cocoa bean (also cacao bean,often simply cocoa and cacao;Mayan: kakaw; Nahuatl: cacahuatl. Cocoa play /?ko?.ko?/) is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as many Mesoamerican foods such as mole sauce and tejate.

A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called ‘baba de cacao’ in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to a pale lavender color.

While seeds are usually white, they become violet or reddish brown during the drying process.

Ivory Coast

Through production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse during the 1960s and 1970s in West Africa. However, Côte d’Ivoire went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, leading to the country’s period of political and social turmoil. That turmoil ended and the 21st century Ivoirian economy is largely market-based and relies heavily on agriculture to support its people.

Production

About 3,000,000 tonnes (3,000,000 long tons; 3,300,000 short tons) of cocoa is produced each year. The global production was

1,556,484 t (1,531,902 long tons; 1,715,730 short tons) in 1974,
1,810,611 t (1,782,015 long tons; 1,995,857 short tons) in 1984,
2,672,173 t (2,629,970 long tons; 2,945,567 short tons) in 1994,
3,607,052 t (3,550,084 long tons; 3,976,094 short tons) in 2004 (record).

The production increased by 131.7% in 30 years, representing a compound annual growth rate of 2.8%.

There are three main varieties of cacao: Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first is the most widely used, comprising 95% of the world production of cocoa. Overall, the highest quality cocoa beans come from the Criollo variety, which is considered a delicacy.[2] Criollo plantations have lower yields than those of Forastero, and also tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence very few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela (Chuao and Porcelana). Hacienda San José, located in Paria/Venezuela, cultivates Criollo beans. The total area of this hacienda is 320 hectares, of which 185 hectares are devoted to cacao, with a density of 1.000 plants per hectare. Trinitario is a hybrid between Criollo and Forastero varieties. It is considered to be of much higher quality than the latter, but has higher yields and is more resistant to disease than the former [3].

There are different metrics used for chocolate consumption. The Netherlands has the highest monetary amount of cocoa bean imports (US$2.1 billion); it is also one of the main ports into Europe.[10] The United States has highest amount of cocoa powder imports ($220 million); the US has a large amount of cocoa complementary products.[10] The United Kingdom has the highest amount of retail chocolate ($1.3 billion) and is one of the biggest chocolate consumption per capita markets.[10]

Cocoa and its products (including chocolate) are used worldwide. Per capita consumption is poorly understood, with numerous countries claiming the highest: various reports state Switzerland, Belgium, and the UK have the highest consumption, but it can be claimed that because there is no clear mechanism to determine how much of a country’s production is consumed by residents and how much by visitors, this is all speculative.

There were 3.54 million tonnes of cocoa beans produced in the 2008–2009 growing year[10] (which runs (October through September[11]). Of this total, African nations produced 2.45 million tonnes (69%), Asia and Oceania produced 0.61 million tonnes (17%) and the Americas produced 0.48 million tonnes (14%).[10] Two African nations, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, produce more than half of the world’s cocoa, with 1.23 and 0.73 million tonnes respectively (35% and 21%, respectively).[10] The largest cocoa bean-producing countries in the world are as follows.

Country Amount produced Percentage of world production
Côte d’Ivoire 1.23 million tons 34.7%
Ghana 730 thousand tons 20.6%
Indonesia 490 thousand tons 13.8%
Cameroon 210 thousand tons 5.9%
Nigeria 210 thousand tons 5.9%
Brazil 165 thousand tons 4.7%
Ecuador 130 thousand tons 3.7%
Malaysia 32 thousand tons 0.9%