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1.1 Cocoa occupies third place in the world commodity market

Cocoa is the powder obtained after an operation of crushing the cocoa beans, fruit of the cocoa tree. The cocoa industry is divided very clearly between :

  • The upstream part which consists of the exploitation of cocoa plantations and the recovery of cocoa beans, drying. This upstream primary industry is the quasi-monopoly of developing countries;
  • The primary swallowing part which consists of the transformation of the raw bean into "cocoa mass", a semi-finished product used by the entire chocolate industry (cleaning, drying, roasting, hulling and grinding) which sometimes takes place directly on the production site but which is much more often the prerogative of Western multinationals;
  • The secondary swallowing part which consists of the production of chocolate and other by-products that are ultimately distributed to final consumers. These secondary and tertiary activities are largely concentrated in developed countries;

Between these key segments of the cocoa value chain, there is of course the transport industry, particularly maritime transport, which links the different geographies involved.

The world cocoa market is a globalized marketplace with a typical functioning of commodity markets.

The production part is largely concentrated in Africa since Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana alone account for more than 60% of world cocoa production amounting to over 4 billion tons . Other key countries in global production are other African countries, South American countries and Indonesia. It should be noted that 80% of world production comes from family plantations less than 10 hectares.

On the downstream side of the industry, europe and the american continent account for a preponderant share of global processing and consumption. It should also be noted here that a few Western multinationals control a substantial part of the world market for the final product. It should be stressed that this globalised raw material market is largely characterised by the impact of financial markets since world prices for physical exchanges and futures contracts for cocoa are set on the London and New York markets.

In France the chocolate industry represents approximately 400,000 tons for several billion euros in turnover and tens of thousands of direct jobs.

1.2 Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana as main producing countries

In ** years, world production of cocoa beans has tripled from *,*** to *,*** thousand tonnes per year, i.e an average annual growth rate of *.*%; and . [***]. The main producing countries are côte d'Ivoire and Ghana Together, they account for **.*% of world cocoa bean production in ****. Indonesia, Ecuador, Cameroon, Nigeria and Brazil ...

1.3 Constant French imports

Amount of imports
In ****, France imported a total of $*.** billion of cocoa beans and semi-processed cocoa products (***). [***]

Source: ****
By the way, the share of cocoa beans in total French imports of cocoa products (***).

Source: ****
Exporting countries
Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are among the main suppliers of cocoa beans to France, ...


2.1 Domestic consumption of chocolate

The French consume on average *.* kilos of chocolate per year according to the Chocolate Union . It would be like this on the *th e largest country in per capita consumption .

Source: ****
Concerning the type of chocolate bars, the French consume approximately **% dark chocolate, compared to **% milk chocolate . The rest of the ...

2.2 Chocolate manufacturers

The integrators
In France, there are a small number of major chocolate manufacturers, international in scope and present throughout the value chain. Only Cémoi among the groups controlling the entire value chain is of French origin. The other leaders on the territory are of Swiss or American origin, such as ...

2.3 A craze for organic products

General overview
France is the * e european countries in sales of organic products behind Germany [***]. With sales of EUR *.* billion in ****, organic products will account for for *.*% of household consumption according to BIO Agency

Source: ****
Organic Chocolate
France is one of the four main markets for organic chocolate in Europe (***).
In ...


3.1 Global overview of the cocoa value chain

From the operator to the final consumer
Between cocoa bean farmers, mainly in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire (***), and the end customers, consumers of chocolates and chocolate products, there are several types of actors along the value chain.

Source: ****
Indeed, once the beans are harvested, they have to undergo a sorting ...

3.2 Horizontal and vertical concentration at the global level

Horizontal concentration
The number of cocoa trading houses in London has been divided by three between **** and **** ...from about ** to less than a dozen. [ UNCTAD Historic companies like Gilles

Source: ****
This market has a Herfindahl-Hirschel Index (***). It is generally estimated that an HHI below *,*** indicates low concentration, between *,*** and *,*** a moderate ...

3.3 Focus on fair trade in the cocoa sector

Historical elements
Fair Trade (***) forged the slogan "The United Nations: a global partnership for development" "Trade not Aid" which is designed to break with the classic logic of attendance. The idea will then develop, in addition to a direct link between producer and consumer, of a fair price to cover production ...

3.4 Deforestation and environmental considerations

Numerous studies have examined the phenomenon of local deforestation associated with cocoa farming and it is clearly established that clearing a patch of forest for the establishment of cocoa farming is a common and valued practice, since allowing high yields in the first years of production . It is thus well known ...


4.1 Cocoa farms

Cocoa is traditionally grown by smallholders, who account for ** to **% of world production. They generally farm small plots of land, typically ranging in size from * and * hectares in Africa and parts of Asia . The trees grow exclusively in tropical areas, where they can benefit from the shade of plants such as ...

4.2 Cocoa bean processing

The cocoa beans, once fermented and dried, undergo various transformations in order to obtain the desired product. It generally results from three types of semi-processed products ready to be marketed.
Cocoa paste
Each bean is first roasted in order to lower its water content and gain in aroma, and then often ...

4.3 Cocoa price volatility

Merchantable cocoa" is the product that is traded on the international market. The price of this commodity is quite volatile, depending on a number of factors such as expectations of stock shortages, good or bad harvests, and political events in producing countries. However, the price of this commodity is quite volatile, ...

4.4 The introduction of floor prices - A cocoa cartel?

The increase in cocoa market prices in **** was the result of a agreement between the two major producing countries In the case of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, they have been wrestling with the industry to better remunerate smallholders. This agreement between these two countries has thus increased the producer tariff ...


5.1 Chocolate legislation in France

Cocoa and chocolate products are regulated by european Directive ****/**/EC which amended the French decree "cacao-chocolat" of ** July ****. The regulations cover both composition (***) and labelling rules.
Major categories of cocoa products
The Cacao
Cocoa powder It must contain at least **% cocoa butter, but when it is said to be "lean", the ...

5.2 Status of reforms on the integration of cocoa farmers into the global cocoa value chain

The improvement in the overall transmission of world cocoa prices to producer prices has also led to greater exposure of cocoa producers to volatile international markets. Price fluctuations can adversely affect farmers by introducing uncertainty into agricultural activity. Farmers, for example, are likely to suffer losses if they increase their investments ...

5.3 The main labels on the French market

A label highlights the specific qualities of a product by means of a symbol on the packaging. It is associated with a product or an organisation. Each label has a collectively defined set of specifications. A system for verifying the conformity of practices is then put in place. This system generally ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Jeff de Bruges
  • Savencia Fromage & Dairy
  • Cémoi
  • Barry Callebaut
  • Mars

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Pierre Doussau

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