The sisters were invited to go to Ghana to see exactly how cocoa is sourced and grown. From the plantations to the grading of the cocoa beans, it was an insightful and educational trip that we’d like to share with you.
There were 43 people on the trip from Australia who all work in the chocolate and pastry industry.
On average, Ghana aims to produce 1 million tonnes of cocoa beans a year.
Each farm is approximately 4 acres in size, each acre producing approximately six bags each year (each bag is 64kg, selling for USD$106/bag).
The first farm we visited was approximately 4 acres big and was owned by Attuah and his wife Marie.
Unripe cocoa pods
The Callebaut CEO from Ghana holding an opened cocoa pod
Close up of a cocoa pod.
The next day, we went to the Quality Control Centre (QCC) Headquarters in Tema (image below) where grading and quality control occurs. 85 trucks arrive per day with 600 bags per truck. That’s about 51,000 bags, and about 3,264,000 kilograms of beans!
The cocoa beans are then graded. Grade 1 and 2 cocoa beans are exported. Callebaut uses Grade 1 beans only. That way, you know they are the best.
The following day the group visited several food markets that sold a variety of raw produce.