After four years, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, releases an updated list of Fine or Flavour Cocoa Producing Countries.
At the latest meeting of the ICCO Ad Hoc Panel on Fine or Flavour Cocoa held in April 2019, the International Cocoa Council amended Annex C of the International Cocoa Agreement (ICA), which has then been approved in September 2020.
(Acknowledgments go to Michel Arrion and Carlos Follana—respectively, Executive Director and Communication Officer at ICCO—for conceding to my readers and followers the exclusive preview of the updated list of Countries exporting Fine or Flavour Cocoa.)
Fine or Flavour Cocoa refers to exceptional quality cocoa beans, traded in a premium-incentivized market between parties that normally care about the process to enhance said quality, and bringing diverse aromatic and flavour profiles to finished chocolate products.
The overall objective of the ICCO Ad Hoc Panel on Fine or Flavour Cocoa is to provide reference to key players in the cocoa economy of the percentage of Fine or Flavour Cocoa exported by cocoa producing countries.
The deliberation to establish the percentage of Fine or Flavour cocoa exports is undertaken by a group of independent experts with ample experience in the trade, processing, manufacturing, and testing of Fine or Flavour Cocoa. These independent experts are selected by the ICCO and provide their views and experiences based on each country’s case. Cocoa producing countries are invited to present their case to the Panel to justify the percentage of Fine or Flavour cocoa exported and its inclusion in the list of countries producing fully or partially Fine or Flavour cocoa.
Once deliberations have taken place, the Panel submits its recommendations to the International Cocoa Council (the supreme body of the ICCO) for its approval and adoption.
Compared to the former list approved by ICCO in May 2016, Brazil and Haiti are new entries among the countries exporting Fine or Flavour Cacao:
The rest of the countries mostly thrives with unvaried percentages of Fine or Flavour Cacao. In contrast, other countries report either a slight increase (Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Indonesia) or decrease (Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Papua New Guinea) of Fine or Flavour Cocoa export shares.
For the first time, the ICCO Ad Hoc Panel could not evaluate and determine by the date of the formal agreement an exact percentage of Fine or Flavour Cacao for seven countries (Belize, Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, São Tome and Principe, Venezuela, and Vietnam) already known as Fine or Flavour cocoa bean exporters.