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Cocoa and Cocoa Products

A taste for cocoa

In order for cocoa producers in Central America to capitalise on a growing niche market for fine-flavoured cocoa products, education amongst producers around the complex organoleptic properties of the product is necessary. To help achieve this, CBI facilitated training workshops on November 1st and 2nd, 2019 under the Market Orientation Mission for cocoa participants from Central America.

The changing face of Europe's private label chocolate market

For many years, supermarket chocolate brands were unappealing to European consumers. These chocolates were associated to low-quality cocoa blends, packaged in plain and simple materials with a generic design. By far not a market that exporters of specialty cocoa would ever consider exploring. These days are over.

Cocoa Mano River Union

Do you have a cocoa business in Sierra Leone or Liberia? Are you interested in developing a sustainable export position on the European market? If you are, CBI’s Business Export Coaching project offers you good opportunities:

Exporting cocoa beans to Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is an emerging market for high-quality chocolate. Trends about quality and consumer education might be lagging behind in the region in comparison to Western Europe, but countries such as Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland offer increasing opportunities for the production and trade of high-quality cocoa due to a growing interest in premium chocolates. There are still fewer companies in the region that operate in this niche.

Exporting cocoa beans to Italy

Italy is a large importer of cocoa beans, sourcing a high share of its imports directly from cocoa-producing countries. Western African countries combined account for more than 70% of Italy’s cocoa bean imports, but exports from suppliers in East Africa and Latin America have recently grown at a high rate. Italy is home to large-scale chocolate companies such as Ferrero, but also has several small-scale and high-quality chocolate makers.

Exporting cocoa beans to Spain

Spain plays an important role in the cocoa market, having the fifth-largest import volume of cocoa beans in Europe. Spanish buyers source most of their cocoa beans from West Africa, primarily as bulk. A number of cocoa-processing companies installed in Spain are helping the country grow fast also as an exporter of chocolate. Local demand for high- quality and dark chocolates is increasing, which might offer opportunities for direct relationships between Spanish speciality bean-to-bar makers and suppliers in producing countries.

A guide to product development for cocoa exporters

The European cocoa and chocolate market offers limited value-addition possibilities to suppliers in producing countries. However, strategic partnerships with European chocolate makers can open up possibilities for value addition through joint product development. Not only can this contribute to adding flexibility to the supply chain, but it will also bring benefits to producing areas. Here you can find a few guidelines on how you can develop your product, engage with potential European partners, and consolidate yourself on the European market.

Connecting Central America

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The ‘Connecting Central America’-Programme aims to strengthen 60 Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives from Central America, between 2018 and 2021, in becoming (more) competitive on the European market.

Exporting semi-finished cocoa products to Europe

The processing of cocoa beans at the countries of origin is a highly debated topic on the European chocolate market. Although the manufacture of semi-finished cocoa products is interesting from the perspective of developing countries, the European market for this type of local value addition is still limited. European companies are looking into processing at the origin, but mostly under their own supervision.

Chocolate brand CUNAKakaw brings together sixteen companies from Central America

AMACACAO (Asociation Mesoamericana de Cacao y Chocolate Fino) is a cooperative association that stimulates the production of high-quality cacao beans in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.


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