Over the last 11 years, a viable cocoa industry has begun to take shape in Vietnam and Mars was involved with this development since the beginning.  Last year, the nation exported about 3,000 tons of fermented cocoa.  We’ve been working closely with the Vietnam Cocoa  Development projects and cocoa farmers in Vietnam during these years to test and define the best cocoa fermentation and drying methods to give high quality cocoa. The cocoa farmers in Vietnam are some of the best I’ve ever encountered in my life. They are diligent, hardworking, and open to new ideas, and as a result of adopting these methods, the quality of Vietnamese cocoa has been quite high from the beginning.

As production has increased, however, the nation’s high standards for bean quality have become much harder to maintain. In June, we organized a workshop in Vietnam to discuss with all the cocoa stakeholders the current issues of cocoa quality. As part of this effort, we also talked about processes needed that farmers could take advantage of to produce the best cocoa possible and to ensure that their quality does not slip as the quantity grows.

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