Free Essay Example. Cocoa Bean

Published: 2023-03-28
Free Essay Example. Cocoa Bean
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Analysis Food Agriculture International business
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1061 words
9 min read

According to a study carried out by Technoserve Organization (2016), about 5 million farmers plant and harvest cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao) from their trees globally. Originated from the Americas back in 1500bc-400bc, but it is grown in Central and South America, South East Asia and West Africa. farmers cultivate the cocoa trees in small pieces of land, limiting the overall production. It is estimated that 90% of cocoa is produced by farmers with less than five hectares. Moreover, most of the cocoa is produced in poor countries of West Africa such as Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Indonesia. Although these countries dominate the production of cocoa beans in the world, they earn less than $1.25 per day (Mujica, El Makhloufi, De Bock, & Scala, 2018). Therefore, they cannot afford efficient methods of farming to improve productivity. There are several causes of cocoa deficient in the market, and they include a long process between harvesting and distribution to the customers, pests and diseases, adverse weather conditions and inefficient agricultural practices. Cocoa inefficiency has led to an increase in the price of chocolate because it is the primary ingredient in its production. Although cocoa beans demand continues to increase globally, the supply is declining decrease due to lack of workforce and poor farming practices.

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Cocoa Value Chain and Transport

The chain begins with farmers who grow cocoa trees in tropical regions. They harvest the pods after five years and the process continues up to ten years. Each pod contains 20-50 beans based on the variety of the plant (Putri et al., 2015). The farmers carry the cocoa pods to the curing centers where the beans are removed from the ponds and fragmentation takes place to produce the chocolate flavor when dried. The farmer sells to an agent or a local buyer who export by ship or plane to different countries. The beans are transported in cool, ventilated, and dry conditions because they are sensitive to moisture. The manufacturing company stores the beans in warehouses and then roasts them to produce cocoa powder, chocolate powder, chocolate liquor, and butter. The products are then transported to different distributions centers accessible to the consumers through ships and trucks (Beg, Ahmad, Jan & Bashir, 2017). Farmers do not sell their products directly to the buyers due to the long and complex value chain process.

Cocoa Deficit Problem

The supply of cocoa beans does not meet the rapidly increasing demand. International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) estimates that the global demand for cocoa increases by 2- 4% every year (Putri, Sutopo, Prihawantara, & Matheos, 2015). The increasing demand for cocoa comes from Europe, America, and new middle classes, such as in India, Russia, and China have been growing in the double digits in their consumption of cocoa products. Moreover, the increasing demand for dark chocolate, which contains 60% more beans than regular chocolate, has been contributing to the deficiency (Putri et al., 2015). For instance, the increasing uses of chocolate in unexpected foods, such as gourmet dishes, liquors, chips, cereals, etc. The major producers include Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Brazil ((Mujica et al., 2018). One of the major reasons for the deficit is low production as it is produced in poor countries in small pieces of land. The sector is highly unstable in terms of beans prices, making the productive workforce to turn into other profitable ventures. The old people in rural areas lack the manpower necessary for sizeable cocoa bean production.

Causes of Cocoa bean Shortage

Global warming is a major issue affecting the environment today. Cocoa trees are grown in tropical regions with temperatures between 5 and 20 degrees (Putri et al., 2015). They are sensitive and delicate crops hence; they are easily destroyed by climate change leading to supply deficient. The dominant producers of cocoa are affected by political instability and a lack of government support. The farmers require incentives such as seedlings, pesticides, and fertilizers, but the governments do not provide them. The tropical regions are prone to pests and diseases that reduce the quality and quantity of cocoa produce. Black pod rot, frosty pod, and witch broom are the three significant funguses that pose a threat to cocoa farming. Pests, such as a moth called the cocoa pod borer have also contributed to the deficit (Syahruddin, 2012).


Cocoa bean farming in Africa, America, and Asia does not meet the increasing demand. The shortage will lead to an increase in cocoa products such as chocolate shortly because new middle-market classes such as Russia, India, and China have doubled their consumption. The major cause of the cocoa deficit is the lack of a productive workforce and a complex value chain. The young generation is not willing to row cocoa because it requires intensive labor, but earn a low income. Cocoa farming also lacks government support hence farmers use traditional methods to produce them. As a result, they earn less income which is incomparable with the tedious work. The farmers should sell cocoa products through Fair-trade organizations on awareness of the impacts of consumer buying habits to the producers. Companies that buy coffee play significant in connecting the value chain because they link producers to consumers. Businesses help consumers by building a personal connection to the products they buy. This connection transforms their experience and increases their loyalty to the product. Moreover, the Fair-trade is important to cocoa farmers because it provides them with infrastructure.


Beg, M. S., Ahmad, S., Jan, K., & Bashir, K. (2017). Status, supply chain, and processing of cocoa-A review. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 66, 108-116.

Mujica Mota, M., El Makhloufi, A., De Bock, N., & Scala, P. (2018). More than just chocolate: supply chain model of production of cocoa crops in Cote d'Ivoire. Retrieved from

Putri, A. S., Sutopo, W., Prihawantara, S., & Matheos, R. C. D. (2015). Value chain improvement for the cocoa industry in Indonesia by input-output analysis. In Proceedings of the International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists (Vol. 2, pp. 947-952). Retrieved from

Syahruddin, N. (2012). Sustainable supply chain management: a case study of the cocoa industry in Indonesia. Retrieved from

Technoserve (2016). Building a Sustainable and Competitive Cocoa Value Chain in Peru A Case Study of the Economic Development Alliance Program for San Martin, Huanuco, and Ucayali 2010 - 2015. Retrieved from

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