NB: You can now buy Grenada Chocolate Co products from Chocolatiers.co.uk
Cocoa production in Grenada starting in the early to mid-eighteenth century and whilst there were only around 150,300 cocoa trees in Grenada in 1753 (Chocolate: History, Culture and heritage – Louis E. Grivetti & Howard-Yana Shapiro) and was small compared to Trinidad, St. Lucia and Jamaica, it became a very important island for the British. This later subsided with the net emigration as a result of slave rebellions, hurricanes and the opening up of Trinidad when meant there simply weren’t the resources to grow the cocoa. However, during the 1860’s former slaves started growing cocoa as small holdings as there were was a very strong growth in production. From 1831 to 1886 there was a fourteen fold increase in production.
An interesting feature of the island is that it is very mountainous which leads to cooler temperatures, which helps with cocoa production.
Cocoa now is one of Grenada’s three main agricultural products as well as spices and bananas. And it looks like they’re pretty open about people coming around and having a look at their cacao plantations too. It looks like you can visit and take photos at one at village called Belmont in the north of the island.
But cocoa production in Grenada is basically all about the The Grenada Chocolate Company which inspired Chantal Coady to start her Rococo Chocolate company – although I might have misheard that at the recent Slow Food chocolate tasting event.
Grenada Chocolate now has 150 acres where they grow organic cocoa in a co-operative arrangement. They manage the whole process, including having their own cocoa fermentary and planting their own cocoa trees – which takes the bean to bar chocolate process that step further.
Growing their own sugar would be taking it a bit too far, so they get it from Paraguay and the organic vanilla pods from Costa Rica. Whatsmore, they actually designed their own machinery, similar to the level of involvement that Amano play in their chocolate production. They also use solar energy to power production. These are good people.
But they’re also fun people. They’ve got a song about chocolate production and their heritage:
And if that’s not enough for you then actually find out more about the company and how they make chocolate by watching this video:
During the first decade of the twenty-first century there was a widespread loss of plantations due to the Witches broom disease and Black root rot which led to the production of cocoa and other produce to fall from 16% of GDP to 9% (Republic of Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Trade and Industry report on Grenada).
But cocoa is at the root of Grenadian life. Apparently nearly everyone has a tree in their garden that they tend and then takes their production to the Grenada Chocolate Company or