These photos were taken at the end of August on a trip to Ghana with Kraft Foods, to look at how conditions can be improved in the cocoa supply chain in rural areas.
Cocoa beans begin as tiny buds on the tree, then grow and change colour as they do so
At the right time, when they have turned yellow, they are ready to be harvested
Most are cut open with a machete, although companies are trying to discourage this practice in favour of safer methods
The beans and cocoa pod flesh are wrapped in leaves for up to a week to ferment
A week or so’s drying begins, with the beans sifted and sorted as often as every fifteen minutes in the sun
Here you can see cocoa beans at different stages of drying. They are then bagged and sent for roasting, before export
The payments from cocoa can mean villagers gain access to safer water, as in this village
Podcasts with farmers, NGOs, and Kraft executives can be found at this link.