Chocolate regions

Cocoa regions

Cocoa varieties

Drivers for change

Top 20 country consumers

Cocoa trees grow in hot, rainy tropical areas within 20 degrees of latitude from the Equator. The cocoa harvest usually takes several months and in many countries it can be harvested all year. In Australia, cocoa is grown in Far North Queensland (FNQ), including at Charley’s Mt Edna Mission Beach plantation. There are about 30 hectares of plantations in FNQ. More plantings are needed for the cocoa industry to thrive in Australia. Cocoa is grown in FNQ from Daintree, north of Cairns, to Mission Beach & Tully, south of Cairns. 



Cocoa varieties

The three main varieties of cocoa are Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario. Forastero is 80–90 per cent of world production. The Criollo variety is rare and considered a delicacy. However, its plantations are low yielding and disease prone. Venezuela is one of the largest producers of Criollo cocoa. Trinitario, a Criollo and Forastero hybrid, is higher in quality than Forastero, has higher yields and is less susceptible to disease. The majority of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa by subsistence farmers.


Cocoa farmers are being impacted by: 

        - Climate Change

        - Economic pressures

        - Rising production costs 
        - The low cocoa price paid to farmers 
        - Sustainability 

        - EU and other regulations that prohibit deforestation 
        - Child labor issues, particulaly in Africa 

          See more at our chocolate-story page


Drivers for change

Consumers are increasingly interested in ethically sourced, sustainable, and healthy chocolate options. They are demanding greater transparency about the origins of their chocolate and the conditions under which it is produced.  

Advances in plant breeding could lead to the development of more resilient and disease-resistant cocoa varieties, with   improved yields.  Australia is at the forefront of such developments.

The ranking of chocolate consumption by country varies by information source; Switzerland, though, consistently ranks first. In this ranking, Australia is ninth.