From Farmer to Exporter
After the farmer has packed all the dried cocoa beans, he delivers them to an exporting company. The exporting company inspects the cocoa and places it into burlap, sisal, or polymer bags.
The cocoa is trucked to the exporter’s warehouse near a port. Sometimes additional drying is necessary at this point.
From Exporter to Shipper
The exporting company finalizes the time and place for shipment, an independent grading agency grades the bean and the beans are loaded onto ships.
Once the ship reaches its destination, the cocoa is removed from the hold and taken to a pier warehouse, where it is sampled and inspected by the importer and declared to customs.
From Shipper to Processor
U.S. importers often remove the cocoa from the bags at a warehouse. Trucks carry the cocoa in large tote bags or loose in the trailer to the manufacturer’s facility on a “just-in-time” basis.
Larger processors in Europe frequently receive cocoa in “mega-bulk” shipments. The cocoa is placed loosely, into barges alongside the ships; into a “flat storage area,” where it is held on the floor of the warehouse, or to silos, and shipped at prearranged intervals to the processing facility.
(Source: World Cocoa Foundation)