Cocoa products are used extensively in the food and pharmaceuticals industries. Cacao is the bean, and cocoa is the product that is made from the bean. Cocoa powder and cocoa butter are often mixed with chocolate liquor, sugar, milk and other products to make a variety of different products.
As well as chocolate bars and chocolate flavoured drinks, cocoa beans can be used to produce animal feed, soft and alcoholic beverages, jams and marmalades, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The cocoa plant is cultivated primarily in countries located 10°N and 10°S of the equator, with a maximum annual average of 30-32°C and a minimum average of 18-21°, and ideal rainfall of between 1,500mm and 2,000mm.
The main producing countries of cocoa are Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Incidentally, over 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, which provides the bulk of cocoa used for mass-produced chocolate. Cote D’Ivoire is the largest producer, with 1.45 million tonnes annually, and around 4.7 million metric tonnes of cocoa are produced annually. Traditionally, every stage of the growth and harvesting of the cocoa plant is done by hand, however the governments of most cocoa-producing countries are developing infrastructure and encouraging cocoa cultivation to increase trade.
At AP Commodities, we source and market Cocoa and Cocoa products for the Industry.