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To share, meet and learn for sustainable cocoa


Cocoa farming models and markets , (Presentation) , Verina Ingram , 2017 , Wageningen UR, University of the West Indies , english
World Cocoa Conference 2016 Presentations: CEIRD: Exportaciones de cacao en La Republica Dominicana World Cocoa Conference , (Presentation) , Vladimir Hernandez , 2016 , Centro de Exportación e Inversión de la República Dominicana , Spanish
The role of retail in the promotion of change in mature markets by Andrea Bolhuis (KPMG) , (Presentation) , Andre Bolhuis , 2016 , KPMG , English
Future of cocoa processing – Willem Zimmerman (Cargill) , (Presentation) , Willem Zimmerman , 2016 , Cargil , English
Pioneering in emerging markets: The case of fine chocolate in India by Jane Mason (Mason & Co Chocolate) , (Presentation) , Jane Mason , 2016 , Mason & Co Chocolate , English
SUSTAINABILITY and TRENDS IN PROCESSING by Hugo Hermelink , (Presentation) , Hugo Hermelink , 2016 , Chocolate del Caribe , English
Chain governance, sector policies and economic sustainability in cocoa , (Presentation) , Vellema, Sietze , 2012 , Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)/Wageningen UR , English

Cocoa farming models and markets

verinaingram's picture
Wageningen UR, University of the West Indies
Verina Ingram
Publication date: 
farmer entrepreneurship
farmers & traders
trade & industry
Country & region: 
Trinidad and Tobago
cocoa farming models, fine flavour markets, value adding, upsclaing, middle markets, value chain, Netherlands market

Aim: The Netherlands Embassy organised a seminar, hosted by the Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) to reinforce Dutch-Trinidad & Tobabgo (T&T) links in the area of cocoa. The aim was to provide information on cocoa production and recent trends in Dutch and European cocoa and chocolate market to a wide range of orgiansaitons in the sector.
Audience: approximately 30 cocoa farmers, chocolatiers, exporters, and research staff and students from the CRC and UWI. See Appendix 1 for the list of participants and contact details.
The seminar and discussions, visit to UWI and field visits, suggest the following avenues to further Dutch T&T collaboration:
1. The Trinidad and Tobago cocoa sector faces some unique challenges (high labour costs impact on productivity, climate change) but equally has a strongly favourable history and unique selling points (origin of Trinitario cocoa trees; the CRC’s long history of providing supportive research for the sector; the new government agency; the innovative, skilled and well-educated farmers with relatively low dependency on cocoa incomes (in international terms); and the favourable investment climate. Whilst the main focus of the T&T sector in the last decades has been on fine flavour speciality cocoa bean market, new avenues and markets appear possible and worth exploring. These may provide solutions to some of the production system challenges (e.g. mechanisation, soil nutrition, irrigation) but need to be matched with appropriate farming production systems. Given the history and current context, exploring new economic business models and market strategies appears to offer potential to encourage the sector to grow and innovate further. There are examples of outstanding quality chocolate and farms – large and small scale - and products which offer very interesting cases and inspiration. The willingness and potential of the sector to innovate, especially given the strategy outlined by the recently formed Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (CDCTTL), is very timely. Opportunities in terms of product diversification, market segmentation (middle market, cocoa tourism, nutraceuticals, processing, increasing utilisation of the cultural history and high farm level biodiversity in marketing, exploring GI and other types of certification etc), and looking at upscaling and increasing value adding processing on the islands - could help balance the high production costs.
2. There is scope and interest from Dutch importers of fine flavour chocolate and cocoa to be connected to the T&T cocoa sector. Contacts details for Daarnhouwer, CocoaNed, El Sauco and Tradin Organic were provided, an invite to Chocoa, and details of organisations such as PUM, CBI, IDH, WCFO and research and knowledge portals at Wageningen and CocoaConnect were provided.
3. The experiences of an emerging middle segment in the Dutch cocoa and chocolate market indicate that there could be different market opportunities than those currently pursued.
4. The fine flavour, certified and conventional chocolate production systems and markets share many common problems and opportunities for learning and collaboration. However, knowledge and research on the two sectors are largely separate, indicating potential for exchange and learning. Wageningen UR and UWI are well placed with their contacts with industry and farmers to help bridge this gap, together with the interest and support of the Dutch government and the Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (CDCTTL).
5. The existing contacts between UWI with Wageningen UR were inventoried and there is strong enthusiasm for future collaboration

Farmers & production


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