Nearly six million people depend on the cocoa industry in the United States. West African nation of Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer. But they are not involved in the final processing and preparation of the sweet and sour crispy bean.
Instead, they focus on harvesting, growing, and selling cocoa beans. Europe These Many people are missing out on the lucrative financial earnings of the chocolate industry. It is the most profitable chocolate that is made in other countries. These foreign producers are more profitable with the money.
But in recent years, a new generation of people has emerged. The Ivorian This is what the chocolate industry tried to do. Partly These chocolatiers, both of which are funded by the government and international aid agencies, process cocoa beans into cocoa drinks, cocoa powder and other confectionery products.
Bars and other related goods Ivory CoastWe are trying to create a chocolate industry in our locality that will generate income for farmers and workers in the cocoa sector. Kokoro.
At Choco+, a Kozoro artisanal workshop Dozens of workers roast and grind the cocoa beans. They make chocolate paste and cocoa tea, among other products.
“We are getting out of it, little by little, thanks to cocoa”, Kozoro, 30, single mother of three children who worked long hours as a babysitter. Chinese restaurant. At Choco+, she earns 50% more than the country’s monthly minimum wage, which is around $94, and her shift allows her to pick up her 3-year-old daughter from a school across the country. the street at a reasonable time.
Similar to other cocoa producing countries have made efforts to encourage a domestic industry. West Africa includes Ghana and Nigeria.
Compared to Europe, cocoa consumption in the region remains minimal — in Côte d’Ivoire it is estimated at around one pound per person per year — but is increasing for a range of cocoa products . Chocolate For Bars is more popular with foreigners than restaurants. West Africans Other Cocoa butter, cocoa butter and cocoa powder are some of the specialties you can taste.
Entrepreneurs are also developing cocoa-flavored beers, liqueurs and vinegar, as well as a buyer-mixed chocolate drink, baobab fruit juice.
“The message around cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire has always been to export, export, export”, Hervé Dobinou, manager at Choco+. “But there has never been any communication about cocoa consumption here. ”
The Ivorian government encourages more companies such as Choco+ companies that produce a variety of cocoa products, as well as large industrial companies that can help develop a domestic market for chocolate.
“Processing beans in Côte d’Ivoire could mean more income for Ivorians, more jobs and new markets,” Franck Koman, coordinator of the Ivorian Fair Trade Network, a non-profit organization representing cocoa farmers .
There is a great need for higher wages. Around one million cocoa farmers are found in Côte d’Ivoire. According to the Census Bureau, nearly 550,000 people live below the poverty line. World Bank. I haven’t tried the chocolate.
On a recent afternoon near Bouaflé, a town in central Côte d’Ivoire, Sylvain Kofi Kona Two young workers had just removed the pods from his cocoa farm when he passed by and gave him some money. Four He was injured in a motorcycle accident years ago and limped off.
Kona His Crew grow cocoa the same way they have for many decades. Small Cocoa pods are cut into small pieces using fields. Then they take the pulpy white beans and dry them on banana leaves. They sell The beans will be delivered to buyers and cooperatives in a neighboring region.
The work It is far too tedious and difficult to automate. Yields These are extremely low. The price of a pound of cocoa beans in Côte d’Ivoire has fallen this year to 56 cents from 70 cents last year due to several factors, including fluctuations in demand and successful negotiations by the largest companies in the sector. Even for many farmers like Kona, as rural banks can be hard to come by. However, sellers can sell at a lower price if they offer cash instead of checks.
It was unbearable for him to feel the pain in his arm during the summer. Kona said he sold about 100 pounds of cocoa beans for about 35 cents a pound — well below market rate — so he could buy medicine right away. Many other farmers, such as cassava and maize, can be more profitable and used to feed their families. But cocoa lovers are loyal because they feel a sense of national pride.
“We were born in cocoa; it’s in our blood”, François d’Assise MbraA cocoa farmer friend of Kona. “You cannot escape it. Cocoa pulls you. ”
To increase the income of cocoa farmers, the Ivorian government will invest $1. 6 billion to revitalize the industry. Part This Companies that make cocoa products from the beans will receive money to fund them.
The country’s economy minister, Adama Coulibaly, said he couldn’t believe it would take him 60 years to figure it out. Since Ivory Coast’s independence, 70% of cocoa production leaves the country as raw cocoa beans, giving up most of the revenue they could bring.
Although Ivory Coast It accounts for about 45% of all cocoa production in the world, but only 7% of global income.
Convert The potential to make raw beans more lucrative products that can be exported and sold both locally and internationally could help reduce the country’s poverty rate, which is nearly 40%. says Coulibaly.
Local To attract more domestic customers, companies rely on attractive marketing arguments. Cacao beans are an excellent choice for heart health. Studies Both Evidence could have supported the claims. Some merits.
At Choco+ A 55-year-old client was contacted recently. Benjamin NdaWe I bought cocoa, cocoa butter and a few ounces of roasted coffee beans. Physics professor, Dr JeremyHe said drinking five cups of beans a day helped him lower his blood sugar. He, his wife and he also have other advantages. After his, he ate one and his wife enjoyed a meal of beans. Then the two continued to eat five beans a day. NES It It was said with a smile. “Trust me,” she said softly. ” it was extraordinary. ”