Business & Pleasure January 21, 2020 | 7:40 am

The DR wins two awards in Paris for the quality of its cocoa

The Minister of Agriculture, Osmar Benítez, receives two international awards for Dominican organic cocoa.

From some 600 varieties, from 98 cocoa-producing countries, the Dominican Republic was chosen among the top five in the world during an international competition held in Paris.

With the product Bar de la Hispaniola, name given to the award-winning chocolate bar and made with Dominican organic cocoa beans, several global companies were defeated, such as Akesson, from England; Amedei, from Italy and Michel Cluizel, from France.

The Minister of Agriculture, Osmar Benítez, yesterday received a delegation of representatives of Berton Chocolates in his office, headed by Jean Claude Berton, who delivered two scrolls that reward the Dominican Republic: quality worldwide and Latin America.

The contest was held from October 30 to November 3 in Paris, France, with the participation of “lovers, professionals, amateurs, and gourmets of chocolate-based products.” In the activity, there were conferences, tastings, presentations and a parade of dresses of chocolates, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
History. The Dominican Republic has a cocoa production area of ​​about 3 million allotments, 18% of the country’s agricultural area. 16.5% is dedicated to the cultivation of organic cocoa, so the country is the main exporter of this type of cocoa in the world.

The aromatic grain is distributed in some 16 provinces, with a greater concentration in the Duarte, with approximately 943,349 allotments of cocoa, and the area of ​​Sánchez Ramírez, with around 310,556 allotments, with more than 40 thousand producers dedicated to that crop in some 36 thousand registered farms.

The country exports US $ 208 million of annual cocoa. In 2015 it reached its highest level, exceeding 60% of world export volumes.

The Dominican Republic has two cocoa varieties: the Sánchez or non-fermented type that constitutes 70% of exports and preferred by the United States market, and the Hispaniola or fermented type, which is the one with the highest consumption in Europe.

As a result of the work of the authorities and producers, the country maintains productivity levels and grain exports since 2005, increased by more than 322% in the last decade and its trend indicates that the nation will maintain and can exceed the volumes of exports, reaching US $ 500 million annually, says Agriculture.

Minister Benitez reported that since last year to date, some 500,000 land plots have been incorporated into the cultivation of cocoa, which allows the country to be more competitive in production.

The official recalled that the Dominican Republic was included last year in the select group of 15 countries in the world recognized as gourmet cocoa producers and since 2005 the country has the international certificate that lists it as the producer of the best organic cocoa worldwide.

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