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European demand for specialty cocoa is growing

European demand for specialty cocoa is growing steadily. Specialty cocoa normally refers to cocoa with good genetics and from unique origins, produced using sustainable and traceable practices. The specialty cocoa market offers higher prices, while it usually handles lower volumes than bulk cocoa. Although it forms less than 10% of the entire cocoa market, specialty cocoa offers interesting opportunities for cocoa exporters and producers.

Specialty cocoa is flourishing thanks to the increasing importance of sustainability on the European cocoa and chocolate market. Direct trade, close contact between farmers and buyers, traceability systems and the payment of price premiums based on the quality of the cocoa beans are all elements directly connected to specialty cocoa, and characterise a sustainable cocoa value chain.

There are no specific specialty cocoa trade data available, but a strong indication for the growing demand for specialty cocoa in Europe is the rising number of bean-to-bar chocolate makers and increasing sales. These chocolate makers mainly work with high-quality cocoa, and are constantly on the lookout for interesting new flavours. Cocoa farmers who know how to distinguish themselves with their high-quality cocoa will increase their opportunities on the market.

If you want to learn more about the European market potential for specialty cocoa, read our factsheet on exporting specialty cocoa to Europe. See this map of the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute to find a list of specialty chocolate makers, retailers and traders.

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This news article was written for CBI by Profound – Advisers in Development.