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Europe is the biggest player in the cocoa sector, representing more than half of global cocoa bean imports.

About 70 percent of the global cocoa production originates from Africa, mainly West Africa. The EAC Partner States are not among the large producers on a global perspective, but there is great potential.

Nearly 90 percent of cocoa is produced by small scale farmers, thus it is a sector with high employment and poverty reducing opportunities.

Top Cocoa Producers and Consumers

Cocoa in East Africa

The EAC trades four types of Cocoa mainly with the European Union (EU): cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powder/cake and cocoa paste. Of these, cocoa beans are the only significant cocoa exported to the EU market and Uganda is the biggest producer of cocoa in East Africa.

Cocoa Export

Trade Volumes of Cocoa between 2015 – 2019 in USD

Sources: ITC calculations based on UN COMTRADE and ITC statistics.

Cocoa Export volumes in 2019 from EAC Partner States

Sources: ITC calculations based on UN COMTRADE and ITC statistics.

MARKUP interventions in the cocoa sector

  • Cocoa SMEs from Uganda participated in the Salon du Chocolat in Paris in October 2019. As a result, one company has negotiated 3 lead contracts worth USD 50,000 and another one has signed an agreement to receive an investment of 80,000 USD from an impact investor specialising in agriculture and debt financing.
  • The East African Standards Technical Committee on Coffee, Cocoa and related products was supported to prepare draft standards for cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powders, chocolate and chocolate products, and facilitated national consultations on the draft standards in Burundi and Rwanda.
  • The development the legal, regulatory and institutional framework for Cocoa in Uganda is underway. The Cocoa Regulatory Impact Assessment was completed to pave the way for the enactment of a bill.
  • Two SMEs in the cocoa sector have been selected to receive matching grants to implement priorities aimed at improving competitiveness.