Where Fine Flavor Cocoa Grows

©2016 Clay Gordon

ICCO’s Ad Hoc Panel on Fine or Flavour Cocoa met in London in September 2015 to update the list of countries where they consider fine or flavor cocoa grows – and the percentage of the crop that is considered fine or flavor.

From the ICCO web site:

"The share of fine or flavor cocoa in the production of cocoa beans of individual countries has developed over time. Successive International Cocoa Agreements recognized producing countries exporting either exclusively or partially fine or flavor cocoa. The list of countries and their proportion of production of fine or flavor cocoa under the successive International Cocoa Agreements of 1972, 1975, 1980, 1986, 1993 and 2001 are reproduced in Annex C of each Agreement."

The last time the panel met was in 2010 and in the intervening five years the landscape of production has changed. Jamaica has been moved out of the 100% category down to 90%, and Peru’s fine or flavor production figure has been reduced from 90% at the meeting in 2010 to 75%. Ecuador held steady at 75% despite presenting documentation that more than 25% of exports are CCN-51.

Hondura and Guatemala (both at 50%) and Viet Nam (40%) were recognized by this year’s panel. Perhaps surprisingly to some (but not to me, who visited the country twice this summer), Nicaragua was added to the 100% list - the only such addition this year.

The final list as recommend by the panel according to the requirements of the International Cocoa Agreement of 2010 follows. The percentages listed are the percentages of that country’s EXPORTS that ICCO considers to be fine or flavor cocoa beans, not the percentage of total harvest:

100%

Bolivia
Costa Rica
Dominica
Grenada
Madagascar
Mexico
Nicaragua
Saint Lucia
Trinidad

95%

Colombia
Jamaica
Venezuela

90%

Papa New Guinea

75%

Ecuador
Peru

50%

Belize
Guatemala
Honduras
Panama

40%

Dominican Republic
Vietnam

35%

São Tome

1%

Indonesia

The Panel also recommended that it met bi-annually to review the list and that a standardized grading scheme be developed.

For more information about the history of the Panel, visit: http://www.icco.org/about-cocoa/fine-or-flavour-cocoa.html

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