Cocoa

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Cocoa

Did you know that Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) means "Food of the Gods"? The Aztecs regarded cocoa as a sacred plant. Although Theobroma cacao surely originated in South America, the tree is now cultivated in tropical areas in the world.
 

The selection

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The cocoa we use for Nutella® originates mainly from Western Africa. Cocoa trees bear cocoa pods that jut out directly from the trunk and the branches. When the cocoa pods ripen they are harvested and gathered for splitting. The cocoa-pods, the fruits containing the cocoa beans, are harvested throughout the whole year. The pods are opened and the beans, with the pulp, are removed and then fermented. The fermentation process lasts for approximately one week, giving the beans sufficient time to develop their flavour and taste. The fermented beans are then dried under the sun to reduce the moisture content and finally shipped to the Ferrero factories. We purchase only cocoa beans that have been carefully selected for optimal quality.

Real knowhow in processing cocoa beans

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The cocoa we use is processed exclusively in the Ferrero production plants after undergoing stringent quality controls: organoleptic, physical, chemical, microbiological checks. We purchase only raw cocoa beans and we transform them into cocoa powder to produce Nutella®.
Over the years, we have acquired and developed great expertise in processing cocoa beans. The Ferrero cocoa powder has a specific aroma that contributes to the unique taste of Nutella®.

The processing method

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The cocoa powder is obtained by processing raw cocoa beans in a multi-phase transformation process. We start with the drying phase, followed by the shelling: the beans are put into a large mill that separates the edible part (nibs) to be ground from the husk. The ground nibs are then treated with alkali and roasted in order to bring out their flavour and colour. Then we grind them into the cocoa mass that is subsequently pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa "cake". Lastly, after breaking out the cocoa "cake", we obtain the cocoa powder.

Towards a Sustainable Cocoa Supply Chain

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Cocoa is mainly grown in developing countries. With the rising demand for cocoa, farmers face many challenges in order to supply the global market and to deal with the complexities of economic, social and environmental issues. Ferrero purchases approximately 120,000 tons of cocoa beans each year. To safeguard the future of the cocoa sector, our priority is not only to ensure a top-quality cocoa supply but also, more importantly, to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farming families in sourcing countries and to augment their agricultural knowhow.

Working towards a common goal

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Ferrero is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WFC) that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy through economic & social development and environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities. With the objective of attaining 100 % certified sustainable cocoa by 2020, Ferrero cooperates closely with certification standards (currently with UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM and Fairtrade) to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farming families and to augment the agricultural know-how in producing countries. Today, more than 40% of the cocoa we use is certified and we will continue to accelerate the pace towards our final goal.

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The selection
Real knowhow in processing cocoa beans
The processing method
Towards a Sustainable Cocoa Supply Chain
Working towards a common goal