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On the road to Ecuador to discover the national cacao variety

11 Nov
On the road to Ecuador to discover the national cacao variety

After several months learning about the intricacies of Peru’s cacao production and the producer-supply chain, I decided it was time to discover another Latin American country renowned for its fine-flavoured and aromatic cocoa beans: Ecuador.

Ecuador, unlike Peru, has a deep-rooted history in the cultivation and trading of cacao. Chronicles dating back to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores on the Pacific coast describe their astonishment at seeing gigantic cacao trees cultivated by the inhabitants of the Ecuadorean coastal areas.

Ecuador has long been known as the world’s largest producer of fine-aroma cacao. During the late 19th century, it was the world’s largest cacao exporter.

Today, only 5% of the world’s cacao beans are considered as “fine grade”, as the majority is bulk cacao used for manufacturing of mass-market chocolate. Ecuador, followed by Venezuela, Panama and Mexico, is the largest supplier of these fine beans.

According to Ecuador government export statistics…

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