Discover Ghana’s cocoa industry: From bean to chocolate

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Known for its rich and robust cocoa beans, Ghana is the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa, after neighbouring Ivory Coast. Its journey in chocolate and cocoa production has significantly shaped a country’s economy, culture, and international reputation.

Ghana’s favourable climate provides ideal conditions for cocoa cultivation. The country’s cocoa-growing regions are known for their vast plantations and thriving cocoa farms, the majority of which are of the Forastero variety, in Ghana’s Western region.

The industry is driven mainly by smallholder farmers who cultivate cocoa on family-owned plots, predominantly of approximately 5 acres. The government and organisations like the Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) oversee quality and pricing mechanisms and provide sustainability initiatives and support to farmers.

With some 800,000 Ghanaians, or 17% of the population, working directly in the production of cocoa and many more now involved in the distribution, commercial or industrial sectors of the industry, Michael Ekow Amoah, COCOBOD’s deputy Director of Research, Evaluation and Monitoring, put it best: “Ghana is cocoa, and cocoa is Ghana.”

Chocolate, a substance widely known for being a mood-lifter, is intrinsically linked to Ghana’s history.

Ghana’s dark chocolate offers a range of benefits. A substance widely known for its mood-enhancing effects and heart-healthy benefits, it is packed with antioxidants. It supports the immune system thanks to minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. It’s a good energy source, has positive effects on cognitive function, and is a delightful experience that brings joy and indulgence. The country’s commitment to quality positioned Ghana as a key player in the global cocoa trade.

By embracing climate-smart cocoa practices and actively combatting deforestation, cocoa farmers in Ghana are enhancing their yields while simultaneously addressing the challenges of climate change. Ghana has been commended for their successful reduction of nearly 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions thanks to practices such as reforestation.

By maintaining high standards throughout the cocoa value chain, Ghana ensures that its cocoa beans are transformed into exceptional chocolate products that chocolate lovers worldwide enjoy. In Europe alone, it supplies a significant portion of the region’s cocoa demand, with 231 thousand tonnes yearly. The revenue from cocoa exports supports infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and overall economic development.

The future of Ghana’s chocolate industry shines brightly, promising to uphold its position as a beacon of excellence in the global cocoa trade.

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