Our pursuit of the perfect cocoa beans starts with responsible crop management practices. Our goal is to produce premium cocoa beans without compromising our values or the environment.
By its nature, cocoa production is a sustainable business that harnesses the power of the sun to dry the beans. We are committed to doing our part to preserve the fragile ecosystem in which we live and operate. We embrace many agronomic practices designed to protect the environment, limit soil erosion, and preserve native tropical vegetation.
We closely follow the latest research and recommendations of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) to ensure optimum plant propagation, plant density, pest control, nutrition, shade, pruning, soil and water management, and waste management. Adopting the latest agronomic innovations and optimizing production allows us to both increase yield and quality.
These pods are harvested and cracked open to reveal the beans inside. Each pod contains between 20 to 50 cocoa beans. The beans are then fermented and dried, a process that takes about seven to ten days. From there, we inspect and sort the dried cocoa beans for quality before sending to the Nigeria Cocoa Board and its Cocoa Marketing Company subsidiary for export. The Cocoa Marketing Company promotes, sells, and delivers Nigeria’s cocoa to local and international cocoa processors and traders.
The cocoa season in Nigeria, the world's fourth biggest producer, runs from October to September, with an October-to-February main crop and a smaller light or mid-crop that begins in April or May and runs through September.
Cocoa is a delicate, sensitive plant. Farmers must protect trees from wind and sun, fertilize the soil, and watch for signs of disease or distress. With proper care, most cocoa trees yield pods by the fourth or fifth year and can continue for another 30 years.
A typical pod contains 30 to 40 beans and there are about 30 pods per tree; approximately 400 dried beans are required to make one pound of cocoa.
Fermentation and drying
Post-harvest processing has the biggest impact on cocoa quality and, consequently, on cocoa taste.
The farmer removes the beans from the pods, packs them into boxes or heaps them into piles, then covers them with mats or banana leaves for three to seven days. The layer of pulp that naturally surrounds the beans heats up and ferments the beans, which enhances the cocoa flavor. The beans are then dried in the sun for several days.