Cacao & Chocolate By The Numbers

A little note to start: what’s the difference between cacao and chocolate?
Cacao is the origin of chocolate. You have a cacao tree, cacao pods that fruit from the tree, cacao beans inside pods, and cacao “nibs”—once these are fermented, dried, and (in the case of Big Tree Farms) cold-processed (with a little bit of sweetener added), the end result is chocolate!

The global chocolate market is projected to be worth up to 98.3 billion dollars this 2016 and millions of people’s livelihoods revolve around it. Before you take a bite, know that there’s a whole big world behind the chocolate you so love. Let’s explore it in figures:


The maximum life span of a cacao tree is 200 years

25 of those years is when cacao trees produce beans that can be turned into chocolate.

The beautiful cacao tree


Harvesters must wait 4 to 5 years for a cacao tree to bear its first bean!

One cacao tree can yield an average of 2,500 beans. You need around 400 beans to produce one pound of chocolate.


Onto the cacao pod

A pod is about 4 to 12 inches long and contains 20 to 40 seeds. Inside the seeds is the base ingredient that comprises chocolate.

Fresh cacao pod and beans


Indonesia is among the world’s top 5 producers of cacao

The other top 4 producing countries are all in Africa, namely Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria. Warm and humid climates are conducive for the growth of cacao trees, making the main sources of cacao in tropical regions near the equator.

Cacao bean processing in Indonesia


Around 400,000 tons of cacao beans were produced in Indonesia in 2015

...while the whole world produces an estimated 3.8 million tons of cacao beans annually. When this becomes chocolate, where is it most in demand? “Americans eat almost half of the world’s yearly supply of chocolate,” according to The Smithsonian Institution.


Just how important an industry is chocolate?

For 2016, the global chocolate market has a projected worth of 98.3 billion dollars. Big Tree Farms understands the bigger picture, thus assuring that our products are both organic and fair trade. Producing organic chocolate sans the shortcuts of pesticides and chemicals isn’t just about being concerned for the health of consumers, but being conscious of one’s environmental impact. By upholding organic production standards, we ensure that the land where cacao is harvested will be taken cared of for generations to come.


What’s the big deal about fair trade chocolate?

Is there such a thing as unfair trade? Yes there is! The price of cacao rises and falls like stocks.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, “Almost all of the world's cocoa is grown in developing countries and consumed by industrialized countries.” 40 to 50 million people earn their living around cacao yet because of this disjoint between where cacao is grown and consumed, unfair trade and lack of transparency in the market is a reality. Yes, we could be cunning and trick farmers into selling us cacao for the prices we like, but Big Tree Farms practices transparency and fair trade, properly compensating farmers for the just prices of cacao in the market.

Because really, in the subject of chocolate, everyone should go home happy.