The Cocoa Industry Board is a statutory body which was established and operates under the Cocoa Industry Board Act of 1957. The Board is governed by a seven (7) member board of directors appointed by the Minister of Agriculture.
Jamaica through the Cocoa Industry Board is a member of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) and is a signatory to the agreement. The ICCO recognizes seventeen (17) countries as producers of fine or flavoured cocoa. Jamaica is recognized as one of eight exclusive producers of fine or flavoured cocoa. As a general rule, fine or flavoured cocoa is produced from Criollo or Trinitario cocoa trees; however, there are exceptions to this rule.
Role of the Cocoa Industry Board
The core function of the Board is the marketing of Jamaica’s fine flavoured cocoa internationally. This involves:
- Promoting the growing of cocoa among farmers;
- Providing technical support;
- Purchasing and processing wet cocoa beans; and
- Selling dried fermented beans.
Processing normally takes place at the Boards four (4) fermentaries strategically located in the parishes of Hanover, Clarendon, St. Mary, and Kingston. However, in recent years processing has been centred at the Clarendon and St. Mary fermentaries.
The Cocoa Industry is the sole marketing agent for Jamaican Cocoa. A significant portion of the beans processed is exported primarily to Europe, Japan and the United States. Beans processed for export are polished and graded to the requirements of the purchasers. A small quantity of beans is sold to the local market to satisfy the limited demand.