The cocoa bean, also referred to as 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. Global cocoa production is expected to reach over five million tons in the 2022/2023 crop year. In recent years, the price of cocoa has remained well over two U.S. dollars per kilogram..
Leading cocoa producers
The cocoa tree is native to the Americas. It originally comes from Central America as well as some parts of Mexico. Today, over 70 percent of the world cacao is grown in Africa. In 2021/2022, the production of cocoa beans in Africa was estimated to be approximately 3.6 million metric tons, more than half of which, around 2.1 million tons, was produced on the Ivory Coast.
The Netherlands and Côte d'Ivoire are the two biggest processors of cocoa beans worldwide. In the fiscal year of 2021/22, Côte d'Ivoire processed approximately 710,000 tons of cocoa beans. The global cocoa processing market was valued at about 12.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is forecasted to reach 14.6 billion dollars by 2027. Alone in Europe almost 1.5 million tons of cocoa beans were processed in 2022.
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