Chocolate from Ghana

Cocoa Fruit Most of the people who grow cocoa in Ghana are small independent farmers, and this is one of the reasons they produce excellent cocoa. Small independent farmers pay a lot of attention to their cocoa trees. Large plantations have never been important in Ghana like they have in many cocoa-growing areas.

Ghana's tropical rain forest belt is an excellent environment for growing cocoa trees. It has good soils with the right mineral content and clean water. The cocoa trees grow mixed among other crops.

Ghana's farmers have been educated for decades by agricultural extension workers about the best ways to manage and protect their cocoa trees from pests and diseases without using lots of chemicals and sprays. The agricultural extension workers are in turn backed up by continuous research carried out at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana-Tafo, where new cocoa hybrids are developed using forastero and trinitario stock.

Cocoa Fruit There are two cocoa harvests each year. The main crop season begins in October and ends in February, while the smaller crop season is May to August.

After it is harvested, the cocoa is gathered and carried to the farmer's home where the golden pods are cut open and the beans are scooped out and piled in a heap on clean banana leaves.

More banana leaves cover the heap to keep it clean and warm. Every other day the farmers stir the heap of beans until 5 to 6 days have past. This step is essential in helping bring out the flavor of the cocoa.

Ghana's farmers process smaller amounts of cocoa at any one time, which results in thorough fermentation -another reason Ghana`s cocoa is so good!

Chocolate Production Process

Chocolate factory The beans are dried in the sun on bamboo trestles covered with rush mats after fermentation. Sun drying is the best method because it doesn't produce "off flavors" in the cocoa beans.

When the beans are dry, farmers put their cocoa beans in special jute bags and take them to sell to buying agents in their local area.

The buying agents weigh and grade the cocoa, and pay the farmers according to prices fixed by the Ghana Cocoa Board based on each year`s world market prices.

Ghana's farmers now receive a larger share of the basic price so they are growing more cocoa, one of the country`s most important sources of income. Because they are paid more for first quality cocoa, they try to produce first quality by taking very good are of their cocoa at every stage of production.

The bags of cocoa beans are loaded on trucks for their journey to the coast. The next stop for the cocoa beans is the factory at Tema, on the coast.

Chocolate factory The cocoa factory cleans the beans, removes their shells, roasts and grinds them into a fine paste called cocoa or chocolate liquor.

The chocolate liquor (it isn't alcoholic) is then heated, tempered and packed. Cocoa liquor can be pressed to extract cocoa butter and natural cocoa cake. Sometimes the cocoa liquor is alkalized before it`s pressed (this is called "Dutching"). Cocoa cake still contains some cocoa butter. Cocoa cake is ground into cocoa powder.

Our Chocolate

Cocoa Lab Only chocolate liquor, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter made from first quality cocoa beans are used to produce Jamieson`s Chocolate. Award-winning master chocolate makers combine Ghana`s best chocolate liquor, cocoa powder and cocoa butter with pure vanilla, sugar, and milk using recipes developed in collaboration with Jamieson`s Chocolate, that have been tested for taste in America.

Our chocolate is unusually fresh because it`s made in Ghana where the cocoa is grown. Long distance shipping and long-term storage of cocoa beans can put them at risk for picking up off flavors. This isn`t a problem with our premium chocolate!

The highest standards of hygiene are maintained throughout the production of our chocolate in this modern, computer-driven factory.

Cocoa LabThe professional staff keep up-to-date with the latest ideas in chocolate manufacturing by attending trade conferences in Europe and North America.

The professional staff keep up-to-date with the latest ideas in chocolate manufacturing by attending trade conferences in Europe and North America.