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Cocoa and Cocoa Products

Exporting cocoa to Switzerland

Switzerland has a strong reputation as a producer of high-quality chocolates. Several Swiss chocolate brands are well known internationally, including Lindt and Toblerone. As such, Switzerland is among the largest chocolate exporters in the world. The domestic market is also strong: Swiss consumers record the world’s highest per capita chocolate consumption. Opportunities for premium chocolates made from specialty and certified cocoa are growing significantly. The Swiss market for Fairtrade and organic products is especially large compared to other countries.

Entering the German market for cocoa

The German cocoa processing industry relies heavily on cocoa supplies from West Africa. However, the market attracts further interest in cocoa beans from other regions around the world; this is particularly so given the growing markets for organic and Fairtrade-certified cocoa beans in Germany. Producers and exporters of organic cocoa beans are likely to find the widest opportunities in Germany, where the market is large and diverse.


The German market potential for cocoa

Germany is a massive cocoa and chocolate market with many opportunities for producing countries, both in the bulk and specialty segment. However, as the bulk market is reaching saturation point, there are new opportunities for exporters and producers, especially on the specialty market. This is mainly fuelled by the growing demand for darker chocolate, and the large organic and sustainable cocoa market. Germany is a major chocolate consuming country as well, registering the second-largest per capita chocolate consumption in Europe.

Exporting cocoa to Germany

Germany is a massive cocoa and chocolate market with ample opportunities for producing countries, both in bulk and specialty segments. The German cocoa processing industry relies heavily on cocoa supplies from West Africa. However, as the bulk market is reaching saturation point, there are new opportunities for exporters and producers, especially on the specialty market. This is mainly fuelled by the growing demand for darker chocolate, and the large organic and sustainable cocoa market in Germany.

Entering the Dutch market for cocoa

Although the Dutch cocoa processing industry heavily relies on cocoa supplies from West Africa, the market attracts further interest in cocoa beans from Latin American countries. This is particularly so, given the growing market for organic and Fairtrade-certified cocoa beans, as well as a growing demand for high-quality cocoa. The focus on the high-quality segment offers an opportunity for closer relationships with buyers such as smaller specialised traders and speciality chocolate makers.


The Dutch market potential for cocoa

The Netherlands is the largest importer of cocoa beans and home to the largest cocoa grinding industry in the world. The Netherlands imported almost 92% of its cocoa beans from West Africa in 2018, primarily as bulk cocoa. The demand for high-quality cocoa, however, is growing and attracting further interest in cocoa beans from Latin American countries.


Exporting cocoa to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is the largest importer of cocoa beans and home to the largest cocoa grinding industry in the world. The Netherlands imported almost 92% of its cocoa beans from West Africa in 2018, primarily as bulk cocoa. The demand for high-quality cocoa, however, is growing and attracting further interest in cocoa beans from Latin American countries. The focus on the high-quality segment also offers an opportunity for a closer relationship with buyers such as smaller specialised traders and speciality chocolate makers.

CBI and ITC create a greater impact on export value chains

CBI and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have a long history of collaboration. CBI and ITC collaborate in a series of 4-year programmes titled the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF). The NTF is currently in its fourth phase of operation: NTF IV.

Improve the export competitiveness

The objective of NTF IV is to enhance the export competitiveness of specific sectors in selected countries. An integrated approach improves sector competitiveness and is focused on the generation of export revenues. There are four secondary outcomes:

Living income gains visibility and scale in the cocoa sector

Pricing is a hot topic in the cocoa sector, dominating discussions among stakeholders in the past years. The debate is enhanced by historically low cocoa prices that fail to safeguard a decent income to farmers involved in cocoa production. The vision of providing cocoa farmers with a ‘living income’ has moved from a niche discussion to a sector-wide necessity.

Entering the Belgian market for cocoa

About 99% of Belgium’s cocoa bean imports are sourced directly from producing countries, which enter the country through Europe’s second largest cocoa port: the port of Antwerp. Sustainability is key in the Belgian cocoa sector. The increasing endorsement of certification provides an interesting entry point to exporters that have significant volumes and a wide assortment of certified cocoa.


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