Cocoa Industry - Statistics & Facts

The cocoa bean, also referred to as cacao or simply cocoa, is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa oil are extracted. The "beans" are the essential ingredient for chocolate and cacao products. Products received from cocoa beans are not only used in chocolates, but also in a wide range of food products. In 2015, the consumption of cocoa beans in the United States amounted to some 5.3 pounds per capita. The cacao plant was first given its scientific name by famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. Theobroma literally means "food of the gods".


The cocoa tree is native to the Americas. It originally comes from Central America as well as some parts of Mexico. Today, nearly 70 percent of the world cacao is grown in Africa. In 2015/2016, the production of cocoa beans in Africa amounted to some 2.91 million metric tons, more than half of which, 1.58 million tons, was produced on the Ivory Coast.

Nowadays the cocoa industry faces multiple problems. Apart from tropical climate, growing cocoa requires very specific conditions, such as shade and well distributed damping, as well as a wide range of various soils. Poor soil fertility conditions, old tree stocks, uncontrolled use of chemicals and deforestation are threats to the sustainability of cocoa production. Consumers become more and more aware of this situation and look for products that are grown in a responsible way. UTZ is a certified program for sustainable farming that ensures compliance with certain production requirements. Since 2009, the number of UTZ certified cocoa producing countries has increased from three participants to 19 in 2015.

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Cocoa industry - Important statistics

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