In Britain, we eat an estimated 660,900 tonnes of chocolate a year, an average of 11kg per person per year. This equates to about 3 bars a week, but have you ever stopped to think where all this chocolate comes from?

Cocoa is the essential ingredient when making chocolate, it originates from the seeds (cocoa beans) of the cocoa fruits (cocoa pods), which grow on cocoa trees. The production of cocoa begins in the tropical regions around the Equator, where the hot and humid climate is well suited for growing cocoa trees. Just over 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from four West African countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The Ivory Coast and Ghana are by far the two largest producers of cocoa: together they cultivate more than half of the world´s cocoa.

The top four countries responsible for the production of chocolate are the United States, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. According to Statista, Western Europe accounts for approximately 35% of total world chocolate production, and the U.S. for an additional 28%.