Cacao Exporters 2021: Top Global Rankings & Trends

cacao exporters

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Cacao Exporters 2021: Top Global Rankings & Trends

cacao exporters

Have you ever wondered where your favorite chocolate bar comes from? Well, chances are it was made with cocoa beans that were exported from one of the many cocoa bean exporting countries around the world. These countries, including top producers and former colonies, play a crucial role in satisfying our sweet tooth cravings by producing and exporting cocoa beans to different parts of the world. These beans are then used in manufacturing by top importers to create the delicious chocolate treats we all know and love.

Cocoa bean exporting countries, including former colonies such as Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, have ideal climatic conditions for growing cacao trees in specific areas. These trees produce cocoa pods containing cocoa beans that are used in the manufacturing of various products. Ghana and Indonesia are also top cocoa bean exporting countries responsible for a significant portion of global cocoa beans exports.

Cocoa farmers in these top producers countries work tirelessly to ensure that they produce high-quality cocoa beans that meet international standards for manufacturing. They put in a lot of effort to grow, harvest, and process the beans before they can be exported to top importers parts of the world. Without their hard work and dedication to processing, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our favorite chocolate treats.

So if you’re wondering where cacao is from or where cacao trees grow, look no further than these amazing cocoa bean exporting countries with thriving industries. These areas have been known for their cacao colonies and manufacturing of chocolate products.

Top Cocoa Bean Exporting Countries in the World and their Share

Ivory Coast – The Leading Producer of Cocoa Beans

Ivory Coast is the leading agricultural export producer, accounting for 40% of the world’s supply. The country’s cocoa industry has been a significant contributor to its economy and manufacturing growth, with over 5 million people involved in the sector. Cocoa beans are grown on small farms across the country, and most of them are harvested by hand. Other industries also thrive in Ivory Coast, making it a diverse economy.

Ivory Coast’s success as a top cacao bean producer can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the country has a favorable climate for cocoa cultivation, with abundant rainfall and a warm tropical climate that favors plant growth. Secondly, the government has invested heavily in research and development to improve crop yields and quality for manufacturing industries. Finally, there is an established infrastructure for cocoa processing and exportation that contributes to the country’s tourism industry.

Ghana – The Second Largest Exporter of Cocoa Beans

Ghana is another significant player in the global cocoa bean market. The West African nation produces an average of 800,000 metric tons per year of cacao beans, making it the second-largest exporter after Ivory Coast. Like its neighbor to the east, Ghana’s economy relies heavily on cocoa exports for manufacturing industries. According to Statista, Ghana’s cocoa production has been steadily increasing over the years.

Cocoa farming is an important industry in Ghana’s economy and is predominantly carried out by smallholder farmers who work on family-owned plots of land. These farmers earn their living through cocoa manufacturing and typically sell their produce directly to licensed buying companies (LBCs) to ensure fair prices and reduce intermediaries’ influence on pricing.

Indonesia – Third Largest Exporter

Indonesia’s economy is driven by various industries, including manufacturing and palm oil production. As one of the world’s top cocoa bean producers, the country also earns significant income from its annual output of around 300,000 metric tons per year, making it the third-largest exporter of cocoa beans.

Cocoa farming in Indonesia is concentrated on two islands, Sulawesi and Sumatra. The country’s cocoa industry, which is a significant agricultural export, has been growing rapidly in recent years, thanks to government initiatives aimed at promoting cocoa cultivation as a means of diversifying rural economies and boosting the manufacturing sector. The government has also invested heavily in research and development to improve crop yields and quality, thus contributing to the growth of the economy and industries.

Other Top Cocoa Bean Exporting Countries

Apart from Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia; there are several other countries that play a significant role in global cocoa bean production. Nigeria is one such country, with an average annual output of around 244,000 metric tons per year. Cameroon is another African nation that produces around 240,000 metric tons per year. These countries heavily rely on cocoa export to boost their industries and income. According to Statista, the cocoa industry is a major contributor to their economies.

In terms of cocoa bean production in South America, Brazil has the largest output with an average annual yield of around 200,000 metric tons per year, contributing significantly to its economy and income. According to Statista, Ecuador is the second-largest producer with an average annual output of about 150,000 metric tons per year, which also serves as a vital source of export revenue.

Together, these countries have thriving cocoa industries that contribute significantly to their economies and export income. They account for over 80% of the world’s cocoa bean production, with smaller producers across Asia and Latin America also playing a role in global supply.

Leading Cocoa Bean Exporters in 2021 and their Export Statistics

Ivory Coast and Ghana Dominate the Global Cocoa Bean Market

According to Statista, Ivory Coast and Ghana are the leading cocoa bean exporters in 2021, accounting for over 60% of global exports. These two West African states have been dominating the cocoa industry for decades due to their favorable climate conditions for growing cocoa beans, which has significantly contributed to their economies and income. In 2020, Ivory Coast exported over 2 million metric tons of cocoa beans, while Ghana exported over 900,000 metric tons, further solidifying their position as major players in the global cocoa trade.

Ivory Coast and Ghana have maintained their position as the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans since the mid-1970s, contributing significantly to their respective economies and income. The countries’ governments have implemented policies that support the growth and exportation of cocoa beans as a means of boosting their industries and revenue. These states remain committed to prioritizing cocoa bean production as a major source of income.

Ecuador, Cameroon, and Nigeria: Other Major Cocoa Bean Exporters

While Ivory Coast and Ghana dominate the cocoa bean market, there are other countries that also play a significant role in exporting. Ecuador is one such country that has gained recognition for producing high-quality cocoa beans with unique flavor profiles. The country’s fine flavor cacao is highly sought after by chocolate makers around the world, contributing to its thriving cocoa industries and boosting its economy. Ecuador’s cocoa exports have also helped strengthen its position among other states in the global cocoa trade.

Cameroon is a major exporter of cocoa beans from Africa, contributing significantly to the state’s economy. The country mainly produces bulk cacao, which is widely used in mass-produced chocolate products. However, there is a growing trend towards producing specialty cacao in Cameroon, which could help boost its export earnings and further strengthen the state’s economy.

Nigeria’s economy heavily relies on the global cocoa bean market despite facing challenges such as aging trees and poor infrastructure. The state has implemented several initiatives to revitalize the industry including distributing seedlings to farmers and providing them with training on best practices, as seen in data from UN Comtrade.

Future Outlook: A Growing Market

The global demand for chocolate products continues to grow each year which presents opportunities for cacao exporters. According to Statista, the global cocoa bean export market is expected to reach a value of $3.3 billion by 2026. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for chocolate products in emerging markets such as China and India. However, the situation is different in the US state where there is already a high demand for chocolate products.

However, there are challenges that cocoa beans exporters must overcome in order to capitalize on the growth of their exports. According to UN Comtrade data, cocoa beans exports have been increasing in recent years, which presents an opportunity for exporters to grow their businesses. However, one major challenge is the issue of sustainability and ethical practices in the industry. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact that their purchases have on the environment and society and are demanding transparency from companies. It is important for exporters to ensure that they are adhering to state regulations and ethical standards in order to maintain the trust of consumers.

Cocoa Production and Processing for Exporters

What is Cocoa?

Cocoa beans are the raw materials used to make chocolate and other cocoa-based products. The production of cocoa starts with the cultivation of cocoa trees, which are native to Central and South America. These trees require a warm, humid climate and well-drained soil to grow. However, the state of the cocoa industry can be tracked through UN Comtrade data.

Cocoa cultivation involves planting seedlings in nurseries before transplanting them into the field in the US state. It takes about five years for a cocoa tree to mature and start producing fruit, which is known as cacao pods. Once harvested in the state, the cacao pods are split open, revealing white pulp that surrounds the beans.

The next step in cocoa production is fermentation. The beans are placed in boxes or baskets covered with banana leaves or jute sacks for several days. During this time, microorganisms break down the pulp and cause a chemical reaction that gives the beans their characteristic flavor. This process is crucial to the state of the cocoa beans, which can be tracked through UN Comtrade data.

After fermentation, the beans are dried either under sunlight or using artificial heat sources such as ovens or dryers. Drying helps prevent mold growth on the beans during storage and transport, ensuring the state of the beans remains intact.

Finally, once dried, the beans are sorted by size and quality before being shipped to manufacturers who will turn them into various cocoa products such as chocolate bars, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter. The state of the beans is carefully monitored throughout the process to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Additionally, all cocoa exports are recorded in the UN Comtrade database for transparency and accountability.

Exporting Cocoa Products from Africa

Africa and the US together produce more than 90% of the world’s cocoa supply. As a result, many African countries and US states have become major exporters of both raw cocoa beans and processed products.

To export cocoa products from Africa to Europe requires compliance with European Union regulations on food safety standards. Exporters must obtain certification from authorized bodies that confirm their compliance with these standards before they can sell their products in Europe. It is important to state that failure to comply with these regulations can result in the rejection of the products at the port of entry.

Exporters of cocoa beans must also ensure that their products meet specific quality requirements set by buyers in Europe. For example, some buyers may require organic certification while others may have specific requirements regarding bean size or flavor profile. It is important to note that the state of the cocoa beans exports should also be taken into consideration to meet the buyers’ standards.

The process of exporting cocoa products from Africa to Europe involves several steps, including ensuring the state of the products are up to standard.

  1. Finding buyers: Exporters must find buyers for their products, including cocoa beans exports, in Europe. This can be done through trade shows, online marketplaces, or by working with intermediaries such as brokers or agents. It is important to consider the regulations and requirements of each state when exporting.
  2. Negotiating contracts: Once a buyer has been found, the cocoa bean exporters worldwide and the buyer negotiate terms of the contract, including price, delivery dates, state, and product specifications.
  3. Exporters must ensure that they obtain certification from authorized bodies that confirm their compliance with state-of-the-art European food safety standards.
  4. Shipping the product: The cocoa bean exporters worldwide arrange for shipment of the product to the buyer’s location in Europe, ensuring compliance with state regulations.
  5. Customs clearance: The cocoa bean exporters worldwide must ensure that their product clears customs at the state’s port of entry before it can be delivered to the buyer.

The Netherlands as a Major Market

The Netherlands is one of the largest importers of cocoa beans and cocoa products in Europe. It is also a state that is home to many chocolate manufacturers who use imported cocoa beans to make their products.

Exporting cocoa products to the Netherlands involves complying with Dutch regulations on food safety and quality standards. These state regulations are similar to those set by other European Union countries but may have specific requirements unique to the Netherlands.

Exporters looking to sell their products in the Netherlands must ensure that their products meet specific quality requirements set by state buyers in the country. They can find buyers through trade shows or by working with intermediaries such as brokers or agents.

Exporters should state their requirements clearly when partnering with logistics companies that specialize in shipping goods from Africa to Europe. These companies can provide valuable support throughout the export process, including arranging for transportation and handling customs clearance procedures.

Overview of European Market for Cocoa and Cocoa Products

The European Market for Cocoa and Cocoa Products is One of the Largest in the World

The European market for cocoa and cocoa products is one of the largest in the world, with a significant demand for chocolate. According to a report by, Europe accounted for more than 40% of global chocolate consumption in 2020. The leading countries in terms of chocolate consumption are Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. However, the state of the chocolate industry in other European countries remains unclear.

Apart from chocolate, other popular cocoa products consumed in Europe include cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and cocoa liquor. These products are used as ingredients in various food items such as baked goods, ice cream, and beverages.

Chocolate is the Most Popular Cocoa Product in Europe

Chocolate is undoubtedly the most popular cocoa product consumed in Europe. In recent years, dark chocolate has become increasingly popular among Europeans due to its perceived health benefits. According to Euromonitor International’s research data, sales of dark chocolate grew by 6% annually between 2014-2019 compared to an average growth rate of just 1% for milk chocolate during the same period. It is worth mentioning that this state of affairs is expected to continue in the coming years.

In addition to taste preferences driving this trend towards dark chocolate consumption over milk varieties; there are several reasons why consumers prefer it. Dark chocolates contain higher levels of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure levels when consumed regularly. Moreover, the increasing number of cocoa bean exporters worldwide has led to a wider availability of high-quality cocoa beans, which are essential for producing premium dark chocolates.

The Demand for Sustainably Sourced Cocoa is Increasing in the European Market

Sustainability has become a major concern among consumers globally; this includes those who consume cocoa products. Consumers from every state are increasingly concerned about environmental degradation caused by unsustainable farming practices like deforestation or child labor issues within production chains.

The state of demand for sustainably sourced cocoa has increased significantly over time as more consumers want their purchases to align with their values concerning ethical sourcing practices. Many companies have responded by implementing sustainability programs aimed at reducing environmental impacts while improving social conditions across supply chains.

One such program is the Rainforest Alliance certification, which promotes sustainable cocoa farming practices. The certification ensures that cocoa farmers adhere to strict environmental and social standards while maintaining high-quality products in a state of equilibrium.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has Affected the Cocoa Market in Europe

The state of the cocoa market in Europe has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns and restrictions on movement, consumers have reduced their spending on luxury items like premium chocolate products. This reduction in demand for high-end chocolate products has led to a decrease in prices and revenue for cacao exporters.

However, as people spend more time at home during lockdowns, there has been an increase in demand for baking ingredients like cocoa powder and chocolate chips as people turn to home baking as a way of passing time. As a result, sales of these products have increased during the pandemic.

Quality Standards and Certifications for Cocoa Exports to Europe

European Union’s Strict Quality Standards for Cocoa Imports

The European Union is the largest cocoa bean importer globally, accounting for over 60% of global cocoa bean imports. As a result, the EU has established strict quality standards for cocoa imports to ensure that the products meet specific requirements. The EU’s quality standards are based on the European Cocoa Association (ECA) guidelines, which outline minimum requirements for sensory evaluation, microbiological analysis, and chemical testing.

Cocoa beans must undergo rigorous testing before they can be exported to Europe. The ECA stipulates that all cocoa beans must be tested for moisture content, acidity levels, flavor profile, and other factors that affect quality. The beans must pass microbiological tests to ensure they are free from harmful bacteria and fungi.

Compliance with Food Safety Regulations

In addition to meeting ECA’s quality standards, cocoa exports to Europe must comply with food safety regulations such as Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for pesticides. MRLs set limits on the amount of pesticide residue allowed in food products sold in Europe. Exporters must ensure their products meet these limits; otherwise, their shipments will be rejected by customs officials.

To comply with MRLs and other food safety regulations, exporters should work closely with farmers to minimize pesticide use during cultivation. This can involve using natural pest control methods or selecting crop varieties that are resistant to pests and diseases.

Certifications Help Meet EU’s Quality Standards

Certifications such as UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, and Fairtrade can help cocoa exporters meet EU’s quality standards and access premium markets. These certifications provide assurance that ethical sourcing practices were used in chocolate making. They also guarantee traceability throughout the supply chain from farm to consumer.

UTZ certification focuses on sustainable farming practices while promoting better working conditions for farmers, including cocoa bean exporters worldwide. Rainforest Alliance certification aims to protect ecosystems and promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers, including cocoa bean exporters worldwide. Fairtrade certification ensures that farmers, including cocoa bean exporters worldwide, receive fair prices for their products and work under safe conditions.

By obtaining these certifications, exporters can differentiate their products in the market and access premium markets. They can also command higher prices for their products, which can benefit both farmers and exporters.

How to Know if Ethical Sourcing Practices Were Used in Chocolate Making

It is essential to know if ethical sourcing practices were used in chocolate making. Consumers can look for certifications such as UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, or Fairtrade on product packaging to ensure that the chocolate was produced ethically. These certifications guarantee traceability throughout the supply chain, from farm to consumer.

Another way to determine if ethical sourcing practices were used is by researching the brand’s website or contacting them directly. Many brands have sustainability reports that outline their commitment to ethical sourcing practices. By reviewing these reports, consumers can learn more about a company’s efforts to promote sustainability and social responsibility.

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire Collaborate to Improve Cocoa Exports

Collaboration for Increased Income and Employment Opportunities

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are two of the top cocoa-producing countries in the world, accounting for more than 60% of global production. The two countries have recently collaborated to improve their cocoa exports, with a focus on increasing income and employment opportunities in both nations.

The collaboration between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire aims to strengthen transportation infrastructure and improve trade terms with other countries. By working together, the two countries hope to increase their bargaining power when negotiating trade deals with other nations. This initiative is expected to benefit not only the cocoa industry but also other industries such as tourism in the areas where cocoa is grown.

Transportation Infrastructure Improvements

One of the key areas of focus for this collaboration is transportation infrastructure improvements. In many parts of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, roads are poorly maintained or nonexistent, making it difficult to transport goods from one place to another. This lack of adequate transportation infrastructure has been a major hindrance to economic growth in these regions.

Improving transportation infrastructure will help make it easier for farmers to get their products to market quickly and efficiently. It will also allow exporters to move large quantities of cocoa beans more easily from rural areas to ports where they can be shipped overseas. By improving transportation infrastructure, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire hope to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Trade Terms Negotiations

Another area of focus for this collaboration is improving trade terms with other countries. Currently, many developed nations impose tariffs on imported cocoa beans, making it difficult for producers in developing countries like Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to compete on a level playing field.

By working together, these two countries hope to negotiate better trade terms with other nations that will allow them greater access to international markets. This could include reducing tariffs on cocoa bean imports or negotiating preferential trade agreements that give Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire an advantage over other cocoa-producing nations.

The Importance of Cocoa Bean Exporting Countries in the Global Market

Cocoa Bean Exporters Worldwide: A Crucial Role in the Global Economy

Cocoa beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world, with cocoa bean exporters worldwide playing a crucial role in the global economy. In 2019, global cocoa exports were valued at approximately $6.5 billion, with over 4 million tons of cocoa beans exported from producing countries to importing countries worldwide.

The top cocoa bean exporting countries include Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Cameroon. These countries account for over 70% of global cocoa production and are responsible for supplying major chocolate manufacturers such as Nestle and Mars.

Cocoa bean exports have been a significant source of income for many developing countries, providing employment opportunities for millions of people involved in cocoa farming and processing. However, despite its economic importance, the industry faces challenges such as climate change, low productivity rates due to aging trees and pests/diseases affecting crops.

Top Importers Rely Heavily on Cocoa Bean Exports

The United States is one of the largest importers of cocoa beans globally. According to Statista data from 2020/21 season yearbook report by ICCO(International Cocoa Organization), it imported around 1.5 million metric tons (MT) of cocoa beans that year alone. Europe is also a significant importer of cocoa beans with Germany being one of the largest importers followed by Belgium and France.

Businesses in these regions rely heavily on imports to produce chocolate and other products made from cacao beans like coffee or tea flavorings which are popular across different cultures worldwide. As such, any disruption in supply chains can lead to price increases affecting both producers and consumers alike.

Cocoa Beans: Not Just Important For The Economy But Also Tourism Industry

Cocoa bean exports not only impact economies but also play an essential role in the tourism industry. Countries like the United States, Switzerland, and Belgium are popular tourist destinations for chocolate lovers. In fact, the US is home to some of the world’s largest chocolate factories, such as Hershey’s Chocolate World and Lindt & Sprüngli.

The chocolate tourism industry has become a significant contributor to local economies in cocoa-producing countries such as Ghana and Ecuador. For instance, in Ghana, tourists can visit cocoa farms and learn about how cocoa beans are grown and processed into chocolate products.

Cocoa Butter: A Versatile Ingredient Used In Various Industries

Cocoa butter extracted from cocoa beans is used in various industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It is known for its moisturizing properties and is commonly found in skincare products like lotions, lip balms, and soaps.

In addition to this, it is also used in pharmaceuticals as a coating agent for tablets or capsules due to its ability to melt at body temperature. The food industry also uses cocoa butter as an ingredient in products like ice cream or baked goods.

Conclusion: The Importance of Cacao Exporters in the Global Market

Cacao exporters play a crucial role in the global market, as they are responsible for supplying cocoa beans and products to meet the growing demand. In this conclusion, we have discussed several key aspects of cacao exporting, including top exporting countries, leading exporters in 2021, exporting processes to Europe, overview of European market for cocoa and cocoa products, quality standards and certifications for cocoa exports to Europe, collaboration between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to improve cocoa exports, and the importance of cocoa bean exporting countries.

From these discussions, it is clear that cacao exporters are essential players in the global economy. They provide jobs for millions of people around the world while meeting the increasing demand for chocolate and other cocoa-based products. As such, it is vital that these exporters continue to produce high-quality products that meet international standards.

In order to maintain their position in the global market, cacao exporters must also work towards improving sustainability practices. This includes reducing environmental impact through responsible farming techniques and ensuring fair wages for workers involved in production. By doing so, they can not only improve their own profitability but also contribute positively towards society.

In conclusion, cacao exporters are an integral part of the global economy. Their contribution cannot be overstated as they help meet the growing demand for chocolate while providing employment opportunities globally. As consumers continue to demand more sustainable practices from producers and suppliers alike, it is important that cacao exporters prioritize sustainability efforts moving forward.


Q: What are some challenges faced by cacao exporters?

A: Some common challenges faced by cacao exporters include fluctuating prices due to supply chain disruptions or changes in consumer preferences; competition from other producing nations; difficulty maintaining consistent quality due to weather conditions or pests; and pressure from buyers to lower prices.

Q: How do certifications like Fairtrade benefit cacao farmers?

A: Certifications like Fairtrade help ensure that cacao farmers receive fair wages for their work and are not exploited by middlemen or buyers. They also promote sustainable farming practices and provide support to communities in need.

Q: What is the role of technology in cacao exporting?

A: Technology plays a crucial role in cacao exporting, from improving farming techniques to streamlining supply chain management. For example, digital tools can be used to monitor crop yields, track shipments, and analyze market trends, allowing exporters to make more informed decisions.

Q: How does climate change impact cacao production?

A: Climate change can have a significant impact on cacao production, as it affects weather patterns and can lead to droughts, floods, or other extreme weather events. This can result in lower yields and reduced quality of crops.

Q: What steps are being taken to improve sustainability in the cocoa industry?

A: Many stakeholders in the cocoa industry are working towards improving sustainability practices. This includes initiatives such as promoting agroforestry (growing cocoa alongside other crops), reducing carbon emissions through renewable energy sources, and ensuring fair wages for workers involved in production.

Q: What is the outlook for the global cocoa market?

A: The global cocoa market is expected to continue growing over the next few years due to increasing demand from emerging markets and rising consumer preferences for premium chocolate products. However, concerns about sustainability practices may also impact future growth.

Q: How can consumers support sustainable cacao production?

A: Consumers can support sustainable cacao production by choosing products that are certified as Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance; looking for brands that prioritize environmental stewardship and ethical labor practices; reducing overall chocolate consumption; and supporting initiatives aimed at improving sustainability within the industry.

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