Colombian cocoa samples were sent to a chocolate awarding body in France, with the national federation hoping to establish Colombia as a global producer, newspaper El Espectador reported Thursday.
The National Federation of Cocoa Grower (Fedecacao) sent four samples to the Salon du Chocolat, which are now in the testing process, to see if they comply with requirements to be sold in Europe. The federation is sending the samples in a bid to break into new markets.
The requirements of the competition are that the beans be completely clean, have 7% humidity and 90% fermentation. Only 25 samples met these requirements when they arrived at the Fedecacao office in Bogota for a preliminary evaluation.
Nineteen other cocoa cultivating countries from around the globe will send samples with the first 50 being shortlisted and 12 are to receive awards.
This year production fell by 20.5% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2010, as a result of the severe rainy season, which has led to a lesser supply of high-quality beans for the international market.