Process flowchart

Cocoa is a natural crop grown mainly on sustainable family farms across equatorial regions of Africa, South East Asia and South America. Normally it is intercropped with other plants such as plantain, maize and spices which not only give essential shade to the young cocoa trees but also provide food and additional income for the family.

The early stages of processing happen on the farm. First the pods are harvested and split to extract the pulp and beans. This is wrapped in leaves and left to ferment for about seven days, which produces the chocolate brown color and flavor we all know. The beans are then separated and sun-dried for roughly 10 days before being transported to the local mill for cleaning, grading and then onward shipment to the manufacturer.
 
At the manufacturer’s factory the beans are roasted. Then the shells are crushed and removed in a wind-blown process known as winnowing which isolates the seeds (or ‘nibs’ as they are known). By this stage the flavors and aromas of chocolate are very recognizable. The nibs are ground into a thick brown liquid called cocoa liquor and further processed into the cocoa powder and butter used in chocolate confectionary, drinks and cooking.

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