The Dutch-Ghanaian Connection

Bonnie Klap
Business 2.779 views

During the festive Holiday Season no other commodity takes center stage the way chocolate does. Celebrating the various festivities in December would be almost unthinkable without chocolate in many countries the world over and The Netherlands is no exception. Be it the ‘Sinterklaas’ or Christmas celebrations, chocolate invariably comes into play.

Celebrating the various festivities in December would be almost unthinkable without chocolate

Everybody is familiar with the popular and typically Dutch chocolate alphabet letters, which usually are presented as gifts during Sinterklaas. Christmas is no different, with chocolate Santa Clauses in abundance. But have you ever wondered where all this chocolate comes from? Although Ivory Coast is the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans, and
Ghana comes in at number two, Ghana is the number one exporter to The Netherlands. It also exports huge quantities to countries such as the USA, Canada, the EU (UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain) and many others. Cocoa from Ghana is considered to be among the finest in the world. Most of Ghana’s cocoa production takes place on small farms of four to five acres. The first documented shipment of cocoa from Ghana was made in 1893, and by 1911 Ghana was the leading cocoa exporter in the world, supplying the ever-growing European chocolate market. Nowadays there are well over 700,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana and cocoa is its chief agricultural export product and the country’s main cash crop, exporting a staggering 500,000 tons to The Netherlands annually. Royal Verkade, the famous Dutch candy manufacturer (which was founded 128 years ago in 1886), uses chocolate from Ghana for its many products. Verkade was also the very first Dutch candy manufacturer to offer a full range of chocolate products made with ‘fair trade’ chocolate. Fair Trade makes cocoa farming in Ghana more sustainable by guaranteeing minimum prices and providing a premium to invest in local communities, so farmers can provide a better future for themselves and their families.

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