MARKET

Freshly harvested produce from the farm

COCOA VALUE CHAIN

How much cocoa is produced in the world? What is the price of cocoa? To answer these questions, in 2012, the World Cocoa Foundation launched Cocoa Measurement and Progress (CocoaMAP), a globally recognized resource that will track progress to achieve sustainable cocoa production around the world using a set of verified indicators and measurements.

The goals are to determine outputs that can be used as a strategic tool for industry and strengthen cocoa farmers and farming systems. The overall goal of CocoaMAP is to be a resource for academics, media, socially responsible investors, screening agents, and organizations interested in tracing progress and outcomes of sustainable cocoa programs. Its many benefit will help the entire cocoa industry, from the farmers to consumers.

Growing

Cocoa trees grow on small farms in tropical environments, within 15-20 degrees of latitude from the equator. Cocoa is a delicate and sensitive crop, and farmers must protect trees from wind, sun, pests, and disease. With proper care, cocoa trees begin to yield pods at peak production levels by the fifth year, and they can continue at this level for ten years.

Harvesting

Ripe pods may be found throughout the continuous growing season; however, most countries have two peak production harvests per year. Changes in weather patterns can dramatically affect harvest times and yields, causing fluctuations from year to year. Farmers remove pods from the trees using long-handled steel tools. Pods are collected and split open  with a sturdy stick or machete, and the beans inside are removed. A farmer can expect 20 to 50 beans per pod, depending on the variety of cocoa.  Approximately 400 beans are required to make one pound of chocolate.

Fermenting and Drying

Farmers pack the fresh beans into boxes or heap them into piles covered with mats or banana leaves. The layer of pulp that naturally surrounds the beans heats up and ferments the beans. Fermentation lasts three to seven days, and it is the critical step that produces the familiar chocolate flavor. The beans then dry for several days in the sun or under solar dryers.

Marketing

After the dried beans are packed into sacks, the farmer sells them to a buying station or local agent, who transports the bags to an exporting company. The exporter inspects the cocoa and transports it to a warehouse near a port.

Packing and Transporting

The exporter ships the beans to the processing location, where the cocoa is moved to a pier warehouse until needed. Details of export process vary by country. The buyer conducts a quality check to accept delivery and the cocoa is stored until requested by the processor or manufacturer. Trucks or trains carry the cocoa in large tote bags or loose in the trailer to the manufacturer’s facility, on a “just-in-time” basis.

Chocolate making

To make chocolate, cocoa liquor is mixed with cocoa butter, sugar, and sometimes milk. The mixture is poured into conches—large agitators that stir and smooth the mixture under heat. Generally, the longer chocolate is conched, the smoother it will be. Conching can last from a few hours to three full days. After conching, the liquid chocolate may be shipped in tanks or tempered and poured into block molds for sale to confectioners, dairies, or bakers.

PARTNERSHIP NETWORK OF EXPERTS,
COMPANIES AND FARMERS

We believe the only way to guarantee the future of cocoa and cocoa products in Europe and other developed and developing nations is through partnership between cocoa and cocoa products utilizing companies, cocoa plantation experts and cocoa farmers in the areas training and development.

Abigrow is taking the initiative using its network of contact, in reaching out to various struggling cocoa farmers  to develop good cocoa farming practices and providing them with the resources  needed to improve their cocoa farms as well as their income and family situations

We are committed to play an ongoing lead role in linking farmers to the global supply chain. We aim to bring prosperity to our farming and rural communities. We build long-term relationships based on fairness and trust. We seek to transfer skills and knowledge through partnerships.

YOUR DIRECT SOURCE FOR COCOA AND
OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

Abigrow cocoa

© ABIGROW – NIGERIA

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