Cocoa production in Costa Rica is consolidated and the quality of the production is recognized in the world for being 100% fine or aroma. For this reason, Cocoa farmers from all over the country have presented 21 samples of cocoa beans to participate in the National Contest “Cocoa of Excellence Costa Rica“, which will select the three best samples of the bean that will compete internationally for the International Cocoa Awards 2021 of the program “Cocoa of Excellence”
The National Competition is coordinated by the National Committee for the Organization of the Cocoa of Excellence Program, which is made up of representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock, Foreign Trade, the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), the Tropical Agronomic Center of Research and Teaching (CATIE), of the National Center for Food Science and Technology, CITA of the University of Costa Rica; EARTH University, the National University, and private organizations such as the Costa Rica Passion Consortium, Cacao Consultancy International S.A and the Costa Rican Institute of Cacao and Chocolate, ICACAO.
Highest quality production
The first phase of the national competition closed on December 16th, with the presentation of 21 cocoa samples from all the cocoa-producing areas of the country. Each participating sample is made up of 15 kilos of fermented and dry cocoa, without defects, which must come from the same production batch.
In a next phase, the beans will be subjected to several physical evaluations to select the samples that qualify for the transformation tests into cocoa liquor, which will be submitted to the tasting committee that have the last word and define the 3 best samples of cocoa from Costa Rica.
Standing out globally
The winners will be announced on the last day of January 2021 and will represent the country in the International Cocoa Awards 2021 Contest of the Cocoa of Excellence Program, which selects the 50 best cocoas in the world and in which, in previous editions, cocoa produced in Costa Rica have stood out.
“Participation in this type of contest aims to ensure that the quality of the Costa Rican cocoa bean continues to improve, as the organizers provide feedback to producers regarding possibilities for improvement in their production systems,” said the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Renato Alvarado Rivera.
The Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Duayner Salas commented that: “The Cocoa of Excellece contest is an important opportunity to promote the cocoa culture, and that allows us to reinforce our participation in the activity and support for the sector. The participation of the national cocoa farmers in this event of international significance will also allow to expose the quality of the product in the most important competition worldwide, which strengthens the prestige of 100% fine or aroma cocoa from Costa Rica andl promote this product that is part of the Discover Program, in the international niche markets, which value excellence and quality”.
For his part, Pedro Beirute Prada, General Manager of PROCOMER, mentioned “having representation of the Costa Rican cocoa sector in a contest that recognizes the quality and excellence of this product at an international level, is undoubtedly of utmost importance for Costa Rica. This type of competition allows us to maintain the positioning of our offer as high-end products, with added value and differentiation from international markets”.
The Cocoa of Excellence Program is coordinated by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, which is the entry point for cocoa producers to participate in the International Cocoa Awards that recognize the superior quality and exceptional flavors of the various varieties of cocoa produced worldwide, as well as the technical knowledge and skills of those who produce them. Awards are held every two years at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris.