In addition, a farmer must spend three to five years caring for young cacao trees before theyll produce their first yield. Cacao harvesting is done by hand. Unlike many contemporary crops, cacao cant be harvested by machines. Each thick pod growing off the trunk and branches of the cacao tree must be plucked by hand. Cacao farming has faced many labor issues. Because it takes lots of backbreaking work from many people to care for cacao, workers rights were often a major concern for cacao farmers.
At one time, European countries even resorted to slavery as a way of supplying cheap labor for crops like cacao. Stage 1: Harvesting Cacao The first stage in turning cacao into chocolate candy requires humans, not machines. Farmers must harvest pods and prepare seeds for shipment by hand. This labor-intensive process is long and difficult, but necessary to turn this rainforest plant into chocolate.
Because it takes so many people to raise and harvest cacao, labor issues have historically been a serious concern for cacao growers. Stage 2: Selling Cacao The second stage in turning cacao into chocolate takes place when farmers sell their crops through the Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange. Like many agricultural products, cacao is traded on the futures market. People”candy manufacturers, cocoa importers, exporters, and representatives of trade houses”buy and sell contracts for cacao crops before they are even harvested!
This is different from cash markets where the actual commodity, or product, is bought and sold. Stage 3: Manufacturing Chocolate The third stage in turning cacao into chocolate takes place on the factory floor. Once the manufacturers receive a shipment of seeds, they quickly begin the lengthy task of processing the cacao into chocolate. Through this process, cacao seeds are transformed into chocolates and other cocoa products. Advertising ensures that these products will catch the public eye.