Chocolate Basics: Where Do Cocoa Beans Grow?

Chocolate is wonderful. Some of us love it so much that we enjoy a little bit every day! Others may be more interested in the basics of chocolate, such as where cocoa beans grow. Cocoa beans are the key ingredient in chocolate, and we wouldn’t have this delectable treat without them. We’ll dive into the basics of chocolate and uncover the primary sources of cocoa worldwide in this article.

World’s Top Cocoa Producers

More than 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown in two tiny countries in West Africa, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. There are over 2 million small cocoa farms in this African region thanks to its favourable climate and fertile soils that make the land ideal for cocoa cultivation. These and other regions 20 degrees north and south of the equator also offer the essential climatic conditions—hot and humid—for growing cocoa.

Cocoa Production in Other Countries

Several countries across South America, particularly those near the equator and the Amazon rainforest, also contribute to global cocoa production. A few of these countries include Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico. While these nations offer a substantial amount of the world’s cocoa, it’s crucial to remember that the majority of it still comes from those two tiny countries in West Africa.

Understanding Ethically Sourced Cocoa

Now that we’ve covered the chocolate basics of where cocoa grows, let’s get into the topic of ethically sourced and sustainable cocoa. Cocoa is considered sustainable and fair trade when it is manufactured according to ethical standards and priced to provide farmers and labourers with a sustainable and livable wage. Sustainable chocolate is also different from regular chocolate because it carries certification guaranteeing no child or forced labour.

Growing this cocoa is challenging and it takes around five years for the Theobroma Cacao tree to mature enough to grow cocoa pods. The climates that are able to grow cocoa are also home to diverse groups of trees, plants, and animals. The rainforest landscape is also a major part of the culture of the people living there. Sustainable farming practices helps prevent deforestation and helps to preserve these beautiful fertile environments.

As consumers, your purchases can help support sustainable cocoa. You can help ensure farmers receive a fair wage for their hard work, which, in turn, helps uplift their living standards, by only purchasing ethically sourced and fair-trade cocoa.

Pro Tip

Only buy from brands that commit themselves to the Cocoa & Forests Initiative and are fair trade certified or use chocolate made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa and cocoa butter. These certifications show that the chocolate company only uses ethically sourced products to create their products.

Shop at Cococo

Cocoa beans, the primary ingredient in our beloved chocolate, are grown in several parts of the world. Cococo sells milk chocolate bars and other delicious treats made with sustainable chocolate. We obtain our cocoa beans from West African farmers and commit ourselves to giving back to them and their communities. Shop our delectable selection of couverture chocolates today!