A sample of Costa Rican cocoa was ranked among the 50 best in the world at the 15th annual International Cocoa Awards, held in Paris, France, Oct. 30.
The Cocoa of Excellence program organizes the competition, which this year included 114 samples of premium cocoa beans from 24 countries.
Costa Rica’s representative was Finca La Dorada, a farm located in the Alajuela canton of San Carlos, the Agriculture Ministry reported.
The Tico farm’s beans also took first place among producers from Central America and the Caribbean. Samples from Honduras, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago were finalists.
This is the second time Costa Rica has placed among the world’s best cocoa in the competition, which is at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris.
Juan Pablo Buchert, president of Costa Rica’s Chamber of Premium Cocoa, noted that cocoa farming in Costa Rica is 100 percent dedicated to fine cocoa production, thanks to the new elite varieties local farmers have been cultivating since 2003.
“The recognition came really early, as we are just taking our first steps in the business,” said Elkin Restrepo Mejia, one of the owners of La Dorada farm. “The award will allow us to get excellent prices for our produce, probably two or three times above the normal price.”
The national cocoa production is estimated at 500 metric tons, cultivated on 4,500 hectares located predominantly in the northern and Atlantic regions.
Some 2,200 families produce cocoa in Costa Rica, according to Agriculture Ministry data.