Nicaraguan cocoa has been recognized as one of the 50 best in the world by the “Cocoa of Excellence” program, a global competition focused on recognizing the work of cocoa producers and celebrating quality, diversity of flavors and unique origins.

Cocoa of Excellence recently completed a blind evaluation of 235 cocoa bean samples, of which only 50 were selected. In this 2021 edition, samples from 53 origins competed, including countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, China, among others.

The selected sample from Nicaragua is produced by Cooperativa Flor de La Dalia, from La Dalia, Matagalpa. The evaluation was carried out by 11 members of the Technical Committee of Cocoa of Excellence 2021; the samples, analyzed from the physical and sensory aspect (taste and quality), were transformed into liquor and chocolate.

In September there will be a blind evaluation of the 50 best samples transformed into dark chocolate and in October the analysis and selection of prizes will be carried out. The awards will take place at the “International Cocoa Awards” in France at the end of October and beginning of November.

The Cocoa of Excellence Program was established in 2009 to safeguard the diversity of cocoa flavors and improve the livelihoods of the farmers by promoting high-quality cocoa origins. This program is the entry point for cocoa producers to participate in the International Cocoa Awards, the most prestigious global competition that recognizes the work of cocoa producers and celebrates the quality and diversity of flavors of the cocoa produced around the world.

The importance that cocoa cultivation has for the country is recognized by the Nicaraguan Government, which develops initiatives to strengthen this area, including the delivery of a technological bonus to cocoa producers to increase planting. Actions like this have allowed significant growth in this sector for 2021, where a cocoa production of 17,670 tons is expected, which would represent a 7 percent growth compared to the previous year.

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