Cocoa beans are prized around the world for their flavour. Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cacao tree, which only grows in tropical areas. Because this crop comes from tropical areas, transport, whether by ship, train or truck, can be tricky. To maintain their flavour and structure, cocoa beans must be transported with care.
Begin the process of transporting cocoa beans shortly after harvest. Because cocoa beans are grown in humid areas, extended storage at the site of harvest is not possible. Transport of the cocoa beans should take place within six months of harvest.
Package the cocoa beans in bags made of jute or sisal. These bags usually hold 60kg to 65kg of cocoa beans. Don't reuse the bags to transport additional loads of cocoa beans because the bags may contain mould spores which could contaminate the fresh harvest.
Stack the bags of cocoa beans in wooden crates. The wooden crates should be clean and completely dry so the beans do not absorb any moisture. To prevent absorption of water, the sides and bottom of the crates may be lined with paper to absorb any atmospheric moisture.
Load the wooden crates onto railway cars, flatbed trucks or ships. The crates should be well-ventilated, but they must also be protected from rain or snow, so make sure there is a waterproof cover on top of the crates if there is any chance of precipitation. On a ship, the crates should be stowed below deck.
Secure the crates in position using fibre rope or thin fibre nets. The crates must not be allowed to shift during transport because the beans can disintegrate if they are constantly rubbing against one another.
When the cocoa beans arrive at their destination, unload them carefully and store them in a place where they will not be subject to freezing temperatures, high temperatures (above 26.7 degrees Carenheit), and low humidity (below 70 per cent).
Things you need
- Jute or sisal bags
- Wooden crates
- Large sheets of paper
- Fibre rope or thin fibre nets