Too often cocoa farmers are excluded from sharing in the profits generated across the cocoa supply chain. So stark is this imbalance that the average price of a single chocolate bar sold in a first world country will often exceed what a cocoa farmer earns in a week. For many cocoa farming communities, access to modern techniques and environmental practices that could help farmers increase their yields remains an unattainable dream. The result is that, even as demand for chocolate grows, the ability of farmers to supply enough quality cocoa beans will be threatened.
As with wine-making, fermentation is an essential stage in developing the flavor potential of each cocoa bean. Fermentation of wet beans should be done in accordance with recommended practices. It is recommended or preferable to conduct the fermentation process in approved fermenting boxes. The wet beans are poured into the boxes and mixed. This process of mixing is important as it ensures the even heating of the beans, allows air to enter the ferment, breaks up any lumps and prevents the formation of mould on the beans. If beans are not mixed, they will not ferment properly and will become mouldy and bad-smelling.
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