Costa Rica: The Business of Adding Value to Cocoa

Although local cocoa farming has declined, artisanal chocolate producers are taking advantage of increased global demand and are exporting to markets such as Switzerland, Canada and the USA.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Companies producing handcrafted chocolate exported about $8.8 million in 2012 and this figure increased to 9 million in 2013, as a result of the opening of markets such as the U.S., which is the destination of 60% of total exports. So far this year, exports amounted to $3.7 million.

George Soriano, CEO of Sibu Chocolates, told that "... 'Handmade chocolate is very rich and high quality gourmet. For that reason it is a good business in Costa Rica and for exporting it, despite the fact that we are a micro company, we go to countries which are demanding in terms of product quality. We cover the trend of a purer darker chocolate with 80% cocoa with no additives.'"

In order to take advantage of the growing global demand for cocoa, "... the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) has started a project to stimulate local seed production. Lloyd Foster, regional director of the MAG and expert on cocoa in Costa Rica said '...We are preparing a platform for the promotion of cultivation where support is provided to farmers on best practices and making best use of cloned seeds for planting and which prevent damage from the diseases which reduced Costa Rican production in 1979. "

More on this topic

Costa Rica Backs Cocoa

August 2016

In order to take advantage of the growing global demand for cocoa and fine chocolates, in the last three years the number of hectares dedicated to the cultivation of cocoa in the country went from 3169 to 4000.

Supporting efforts to obtain a high-quality grain, local producers are increasing acreage and diversifying final products, in order to export cocoa not only in its whole grain or chopped format, but also products such as chocolate, cocoa butter, liqueurs and other things.

Opportunity for Premium Cocoa in South Korea

March 2016

Promotion is being given to exports to China of organic cocoa-based foods, chocolate confectionery, unsweetened cocoa powder and cocoa paste.

From a statement issued by the Foreign Trade Office of Costa Rica:

Western foods are gaining increasing market share in South Korea, whose market depends heavily on imports, which have been boosted by growth in per capita spending on food.

Cocoa Cultivation Given New Impetus in Costa Rica

October 2015

Several government institutions have allocated resources to the recovery of the sector, which has a cultivated area of ​​4,750 hectares, and in 2014 exported $10 million.

The programs aim to increase the volume of the harvest of a product that is internationally distinguished for its high quality, competing with other producing countries based on quality and organic origin, taking advantage of the situation of growth in demand for chocolate, mostly in Europe.

Growth in Peruvian Cocoa Exports to Canada

August 2014

The FTA signed between the two countries explains the increase in sales of Peruvian cacao in Canada, which went from $200,000 in 2008 to $3.5 million in 2013.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer):

Peruvian cocoa exports to Canada, according to the Business Intelligence System of the Exporters Association of Peru (ADEX), went from $200,000 in 2008 to $3.5 million in 2013 and the amount accumulated between January and May this year totaled $644,000.

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