Africa and Chocolate

Africa is one of the Earth’s five continents. It is made up of different, diverse states. Africa is rich in history and culture, and also in cocoa. The latter is a powder obtained from grinding cocoa bean pods produced by the cocoa tree, a tree very often found in the history of African agriculture.

African Cocoa

The cocoa tree, or Theobroma cacao tree, is a tree that grows in Africa. This tree produces cocoa pods, which allows for the production of cocoa and chocolate. Most African cocoa trees are of the forestero variety, but there are also trinitarios found in Cameroon. Forasteros produce very bitter beans. Their pods are purple, almost black. They represent 70 to 75% of world cocoa production. Trinitario pods on the other hand are full-bodied and long. They are natural hybrids obtained thanks to criollos and forasteros. Trinitarios make up 20% of world production. All these different cocoa crops make Africa one of the largest cocoa producers in the world. African cocoa is used to make chocolate around the world. For example, Lindt chocolatiers as well as Villars master chocolatiers ensure that some of the cocoa they use in their chocolate comes from Africa.

Africa and Chocolate

Cocoa is an integral part of life for Africans, but that does not mean that chocolate also has a prominent place in African culture. Although Africa has not yet started manufacturing chocolate, it has some factories that serve as cocoa processors. There are nine of them. Among these are CESO, which processes 41.4% of cocoa beans, CEMOI which processes 22.5%, and Cargill Cocoa, which processes 17.4%. Chocolate, however, is not an integral part of African culture. However, on Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas a slight increase chocolate sales can be observed. 

Although the African continent accounts for one-third of the world’s cocoa production, it does not process much of its production. In addition, Africa’s chocolate consumption is by far the lowest in the world, at only 3%.