(QCOSTARICA) In order to take advantage of the growing global demand for cocoa (cacao in Spanish) 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.
Oscar Brenes, manager of the National Cocoa Program at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), told Nacion.com that “… during the last three years there has been a revival in the cultivation of this fruit thanks to more consumers being interested in a product with the qualities that we have in the country. ”
Figures from the Business Intelligence unit at CentralAmericaData com indicate that in 2013 the country exported 1962 tons, with a value of $7,845,319, in comparison, in 2015 the value of exports amounted to $10,185,865, with a total of 2,923 tons.
“… Increased demand for higher quality cocoa is also being felt by producers and traders of cocoa and its derivatives. Such are the cases of Nahua, Finca La Anita and Sibú Chocolates. ‘There is a preference worldwide for the finest products, if consumers want more fine chocolates or cocoa there is an opportunity. Cocoa from Costa Rica has unique notes, for example, Upala has notes of caramel but it also has advantages because of social and environmental aspects’, said Juan Pablo Buchert, owner of Nahua. ”
Among the main target markets for exports of this grain produced in Costa Rica are the Netherlands (31%), Panama (28%), Honduras (20%), Germany (8%), and Japan and the US (5% each).
Souces: La Nacion; Central American Data