Even though the cacao tree is native to the Americas, most of the world production is now based in Africa, which represents 70% of the supply of cacao beans. Côte d'Ivoire is the largest producer in the world, and it is the principal export item of the country. The quantity and quality of the harvest every year affects the price of chocolate around the world.
However, until this year, Côte d'Ivoire did not have a single facility for transforming cacao into chocolate. While the Swiss lead the world in chocolate consumption with about 8 kilos per person every year, the annual amount consumed by Ivorians is... 50 grammes. Well, a chocolate factory has opened at last, operated by the principal French chocolatier Cémoi, to provide chocolate for the local market. Considering the climate, the vast majority of production so far is not at all of chocolate bars that would melt, but of little squeeze packets to use as a spread, Nutella style. That is certain to evolve as Ivorians finally get a taste for chocolate after producing the raw material for so many years without using it themselves.