In recent years, the cocoa market has been gaining new momentum. Faced with the challenges and growth opportunities that this segment presents, the main cocoa grinding companies saw the need to create an organization that could work for the sector. So, the National Association of the Cocoa Processing Industry (AIPC) was born in 2004, aiming to broaden discussions and to promote the work of developing the entire value chain. Together, the companies Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Indeca and Olam, make up the board of directors of the organization and account for approximately 97% of the purchase and grinding of cocoa in Brazil. The sector represents more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs, and is one of the links of a chain of more than 120 thousand people, including farmers and chocolate industries. In total, it’s estimated that this sector represents R$ 23 billion of value annually, generated to the country.
Among the main topics in AIPC's discussion agenda is the need to enable the full supply of cocoa almonds to the processing industry, making the country self-sufficient in production, and in the near future, generating exportable surpluses. These topics are considered of strategic importance, so that the sector can fully meet the growing demand of both the domestic and foreign markets. To this end, a series of measures have been adopted over the last years, so that the sector achieves the self-sufficiency necessary to meet the grinding's installed capacity, which currently stands at 275 thousand tonnes.
In order to achieve these goals, one of the major projects in the sector that AIPC has supported is the expansion of production, with a clear goal of doubling domestic production in 10 years. Much of this effort is to increase productivity in existing crops, as well as increase the planted area, focusing on depleted but fully convertible areas, into cocoa forests.
In addition, AIPC and its Associates have also contributed to the country's quest for self-sufficiency in the production of almonds, through the use of different measures to support producers, sponsoring measures against drought and dry season in the crops, and working to disseminate methods of farm management.
With these measures, it will be possible to fully meet Brazil's growing consumer chocolate market, which is among the five largest in the world. More than meeting domestic demand, it will be possible to resume exports of surplus production to meet the growing world demand for raw material to produce chocolate.