How not to invest in cacao farms in Latin America

United Cacao: How not to invest in cacao farms in Latin America.

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I understood that too.
The price of U $ 8000 / ton is of the criollo cacao benefited.
I have to study the subject, thank you very much for the lesson.
I’ll tell you what I’m doing.


I have to disagree with your entire economic premise.

+ When you export the whole fruit, you are shipping several kilos of weight to get maybe 40-50gr of dry beans.
+ The density of what you’re shipping is low – pods relative to seeds. You need maybe 20-30 times more volume to ship the same amount of dry beans.
+ You have to ship in refrigerated containers – and maintain the cold chain – from the point of harvest to the point of opening. This makes shipping MUCH more expensive.
+ Variations in the amount of time from harvest to opening will affect fermentation, making consistent, good, fermentation extremely difficult. A difference of a couple of days could completely change the fermentation.
+ Because the outside of the pods probably need to be sterilized (before export) it will be necessary for the chocolate maker to use special inoculants.
+ The chocolate maker has to build fermentation facilities.
+ The chocolate has to build drying facilities.
+ Your cost model does not take into account what it will cost (labor, energy, rent, etc.) for the chocolate makers to do the work. No chocolate maker is going to pay $8000/MT for beans and then pay to ferment.
+ Keep in mind that environmental regulations are stricter in NYC than they are in the countryside outside Itajuipe. The juice is highly acidic and in some countries is classified as hazardous waste. Fermentation is smelly and attracts insects …

I think, more importantly, is to ask the question, “Why would the chocolate maker take the risk?” There is no way to arbitrage it.

My recommendation, before you do anything, is to ask chocolate makers what they think, rather than assume it is a good thing.

Finally … when you export the dried beans you are exporting the nutritional content of the soil. Pods are usually left to compost on the farm. When you export the pods you need to replace not only the nutritional content of the seeds but also the nutritional content of the pods. This means you will be spending a lot of money on fertilizers. Have you factored that into your economic model? Where before you might have been exporting 40-100gr per pod you’d now be exporting 500gr-2kg (or more!) per pod. That is a LOT of fertilizer.

Again, my recommendation, before you do anything, is to ask as many – like at least 100 – chocolate makers what they think, rather than assuming that if you do it they will buy them.

I get it.
Normal cocoa beans cost US $ 1.88 / kg in Brazil.
The entire fruit $ 0.5 / kg and the freight to Amsterdam is $ 0.50 / kg.
One infrastructure to extract pulp and dry almonds costs $ 10,000.
Our cocoa is special, organic and creole, the cost of 1.0 ton of special cocoa can cost $ 8,000.
I think these values can make the idea workable. Maybe for an investor who wants to do the right thing for cocoa ??
To export the fruit of the entire forest is less complicated for us than exporting it benefited. So that’s my idea.
I have thought of setting up a beneficiary in Portugal, and from here to Europe.
Thank you very much!

@EdilsonSilva – The only use for whole fruit is decorative and for tasting at festivals and the like. Chocolate makers have trouble enough to work from fermented, dried, beans, asking them to do the fermentation and drying is not cost-effective.

+ Phytosanitary regulations make it tough. The outside of the pods would need to be sterilized and probably fumigated, so there is a food safety issue.
+ The pods are too heavy, relative to the seeds in side, to ship profitably.
+ The pods are too perishable – by the time they make it to the chocolate maker there is probably no way to ferment consistently.
+ Chocolate makers know nothing about fermentation and drying.
+ Few chocolate makers have the space for fermentation and drying facilities.
+ Labor is a lot less expensive in countries where cacao grows.

I personally don’t see that it’s worth investing resources into figuring out a way to export pods to chocolate makers to make chocolate. However, exporting fresh pods for exhibition purposes, even if air-freighted, is a small but growing market.

Whole fruit refrigerated, not frozen. So that the chocolatier himself makes his own chocolate. This is a good idea? The cost of freight compensates for the value of the product and chocolatiers would have the guarantee of an excellent product. You understand me?


Are you referring to freezing the pulp (lots of uses) or freezing the beans themselves (no use that I can think of)?

Good Morning,
What do you know about use the cocoa in the shell, fresh frozen by Chocolatiers?
The cocoa in powder special and trusted it is most expensive and to use fresh may be a good alternative.
The process of drying and toasted is very simple and easy, each degree of toast gives a different flavor.
Can there be a market for this? The extractivists I represent do not have the equipment or structure to do it and would like to sell the frozen fresh cocoa fruit.
Can you help me l with this information?

I live in Portugal, I have friends there. A Cooperative of Extractivists, are simple, poor people, exploited by intermediaries. They stopped exploring the cacao. And the plants were lost in the forest. My plan is to motivate them and guide them to rescue the Cocoa Creole. To teach you how to do this with modern techniques and provide to clients. No commissions without derivation. It’s a dream of mine, I’m talking about having some special cocoa buyers asking for support to support me, and soon I’ll get what it takes to get my Expedition started. I’ll let you know about my progress. Thank you.

@EdilsonSilva – I look forward to hearing more about your project in Amazonas. And I agree that it was the misguided politics and mindset that led to the introduction of witches broom that is the real issue at hand. I know the issues there are complex and I am interested in learning more. I was told that for many years it was not openly acknowledged, even though it was widely known, that the introduction was a deliberate act.

Unfortunately it was not because of the witch’s broom, it was because of the farmers and authorities who will let it spread, to privilege a few. I know that very well. The good thing is that many plants have settled in the forest and are of excellent quality. I’m going to start a Project in Amazonas. I will kept the group informed. πŸ™‚ (I using Google Translate)

@EdilsonSilva – I was just in Brasil and I believe the foundations are there for truly excellent cocoa and chocolate. Brasil fell behind because of the witches broom, but there is the will there to work hard and improve.

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
Cocoa was never enough to satisfy the consumption of the World.
True cacao was a “precious thing” during World War II, and still is today.
Economists have turned it into commodities, and since they did not have enough, they use their by-products and call them cocoa. πŸ™
Brazil has cocoa of excellent quality, to find them only with a Treasure Map !!
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