Cocoa Market Study (stage 2)

Australian and South-east Asian markets have strong demand for smoke-taint free, well-fermented, well-dried cocoa beans. This 2015 report is the second stage of work begun in mid‑2014 (TR73), and looks at ways to improve income for cocoa growers in SI. Despite rising international cocoa prices, three ‘clusters’ of issues keep farm-gate prices low and prevent cocoa from being a profitable option for SI farmers, and one they see as worthwhile investing in. Addressing quality issues including smoke taint, and improving supply chain actors’ understanding of market dynamics would improve farmers’ negotiating power and help to secure higher prices. Increasing exporters’ access to working capital would improve their ability to discriminate on quality when making buying/selling decisions. The quality of cocoa can also be improved, particularly to eliminate smoke taint, by using a better solar dryer design.

Key words: cocoa, cocoa bean, wood-fired dryers, solar dryers, smoke taint, sun-dryer, assisted sun-dryer, London cocoa price, cocoa de-odourisation, distressed cocoa, kukum dryer, cocoa butter.

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