Cocoa Value Chain Analysis : A Case Study of Ben Tre & Tien Giang Provinces in Vietnam
Cocoa for export is a young industry in Vietnam with only a decade of focused investment coming from the public and private sectors as well as external aids. While the country's total production is still small, Vietnam has been recognized as a new producer of well-fermented beans in the region. The industry's potential, however, is not yet maximized since high-value creation activities from cocoa (i.e. processing cocoa into chocolate and other end-products) are still underinvested, and local farmers benefit very little compared to overseas cocoa manufacturers. This study uses value chain analysis to show that cocoa processing is feasible at a small scale in Vietnam and can create significantly more value than exporting raw beans. In researching ways for cocoa farmers to increase income, the study found that (1) the number of middlemen can hardly be reduced due to governmental regulation, (2) UTZ Certified program helps promote good cocoa cultivation techniques, and (3) clear criteria for mature cocoa pods would potentially increase fermentation quality and thus the producer price.