Supply Chain Management: Cocoa Import from Ghana

Supply Chain Management: Cocoa Import from Ghana

Cocoa Industry Analysis


Cocoa is a cash crop and critical export for producing countries and is also a key import for consuming countries, which typically do not have suitable climates for cocoa production. Traveling along a global supply chain, cocoa beans go through a complex production process that includes farmers, buyers, shipping organizations, processors, manufacturers, chocolatiers, and distributers.
Cultivation of cocoa is a delicate process, as the trees are susceptible to changing weather patterns, diseases, and insects. Unlike larger, industrialized agribusinesses, the vast majority of cocoa comes from small, family-run farms, which often rely on outdated farming practices and have limited organizational leverage. Steadily increasing demand from worldwide consumers encourages a number of global efforts and funds committed to support and improve cocoa farm sustainability.


Cocoa trees grow in tropical environments, within 15 to 20 degrees latitude from the equator. The ideal climate for growing cocoa is hot, rainy, and tropical, with lush vegetation to provide shade for the cocoa trees. The primary growing regions are Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The largest producing country by volume is Côte d’Ivoire, which produces 33% of global supply.

Major producing countries in each region include:

• Africa(68%): Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon
• Asia/Oceania(17%): Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea
• Americas (15%): Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia

Unlike large, industrialized crops, 80% to 90% of cocoa comes from small, family-run farms, with approximately five to six million cocoa farmers worldwide. In Africa and Asia, the typical farm covers two to four hectares (five to ten acres). Each hectare produces 300 to 400 kilograms of cocoa beans in Africa and about 500 kilograms in Asia. Cocoa farms in the Americas tend to be slightly larger and produce 500 to 600 kilograms of cocoa beans per...

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