Cocoa market supply falls short of demand
Unlike mass-produced cocoa beans primarily originating from Africa to ensure consistent quality, Vietnamese cocoa is favored by consumers and major global brands for its distinct flavor profile, with hints of tropical fruit, bitterness, and mild acidity. The favorable weather conditions, adequate rainfall, good soil fertility, and meticulous care provided by farmers have contributed to the unique quality of Vietnamese cocoa. Since 2013, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has consistently ranked Vietnamese cocoa among the countries with excellent fine flavor cocoa products.
Despite the increasing global demand for chocolate, Vietnam's cocoa production has failed to meet market demand. In Vietnam, in particular, the cocoa cultivation area has significantly decreased from 25,700 hectares in 2012 to about 5,000 hectares in 2019. Provinces such as Ben Tre, Dak Lak, Binh Phuoc, Lam Dong, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, and Tien Giang have experienced a substantial reduction in cultivation area. Among them, Ben Tre has seen the most significant decline, from 9,727 hectares in 2012 to only 273 hectares in 2019.
This situation persists due to various reasons, including salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta region, unsuitable cultivation area selection, technical limitations in cultivation, competition from other crops such as durian, pomelo, and coffee, the impact of changing weather conditions on pest infestations and fruit quality before each harvest, as well as inadequate and restrictive policies for cocoa crop development. These factors have led to farmers easily switching to other crops in a short period.
Pioneering with farmers to restore and develop a sustainable cocoa market
Since 2008, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam has developed the sustainable cocoa sourcing program, Cacao-Trace, focusing on value creation and value sharing. The program includes activities such as providing in-depth technical training for farmers, sponsoring seedlings to expand cultivation areas, purchasing cocoa at stable prices even during the pandemic, and maintaining a minimum price to ensure stability in the face of global market fluctuations. These efforts have enabled farmers to concentrate more on cocoa tree care.
With the decreasing cocoa cultivation area, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam, as the leading cocoa and chocolate company in Vietnam, has distributed 90,000 cocoa seedlings in Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Binh Phuoc, Lam Dong, and Ben Tre.
Local authorities in these areas have actively supported and welcomed this initiative. On May 8, 2023, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ben Tre province implemented a program to receive 20,000 cocoa seedlings, fully supported by the company. Through close collaboration with cocoa farmers, the program ensures product marketing and purchases, technical support for cocoa care and processing, and profit sharing based on the production and business efficiency of the company.
Farmers participating in the program are delighted, excited, and highly appreciate the activities of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam. After the period of the pandemic and fluctuating prices of other crops, the stable cocoa purchase price provided by the company has been even higher. Through these activities, farmers also realize the potential of cocoa cultivation to continue planting and producing high-quality cocoa ingredients.
The achieved results of the project affirm the company's determination and serious investment. This is not a short-term action but demonstrates a strong commitment to accompany sustainable development with farmers and protect the planet. It is through pioneering businesses that relentlessly pursue the philosophy of sustainable development, such as Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam, that promising breakthroughs and positive values will be created and spread to the Vietnamese farming community in the future.