The Main Cocoa Growing Regions
Despite originating in Central and South America, cocoa is now grown in a much larger area and the biggest producers are actually in West Africa. This is due to the expansion of production and the opening of new markets. It’s all down to supply and demand really and people will always want chocolate. It’s one of those products that works on two levels.
It can be fantastically expensive and saved for an extremely special occasion or it can just be a simple treat – a bar of chocolate bought from the newsagents at the end of a busy day. For that reason, it will always be popular and it was necessary to find new areas to produce it. Currently, there are eight major cocoa producing countries in the world. They are:
There are obviously countless others but these are the big players and the ones that supply most of the world’s cocoa beans. Production does tend to change year on year and will very much depend on the climatic conditions and the harvest for that particular year.
However, The Ivory Coast and Ghana tend to produce around half of all the cocoa, which is the equivalent to a whole lot of chocolate bars. It’s quite nice to know, however, that most of the cocoa produced in Africa is grown on relatively small farms, rather than huge plantations. These farms tend to be owned and run by families, ensuring that profits can be fed back into the family business.