From 1822 the Portuguese had brought the Cacao Tree from South America to Africa – planting them in San Thome (a 7km2 island off the continents west coast).

By the 1870’s the Portuguese had successful cultivated the Cacao Tree and by 1895 the island had exported a million kilograms of cacao beans!


Suez canal crisis! Efforts to free a container ship wedged diagonally across the Suez Canal have succeeded

But, try not to worry about your delayed cargo – take a whistle stop tour of the history of shipping chocoloate :

The cacao tree was totally unknown to Europeans until the 16th century. On his fourth expedition to the Americas, in 1502, Christopher Columbus commandeered a native canoe that was transporting an ‘almond-like’ bean. These cacao beans were highly prized by the indigenous people – used as currency with a rabbit being worth ten cacao beans and a slave about a hundred beans!

These days, around 70 percent of the world’s cocoa beans come from four West African countries:

Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. The Ivory Coast and Ghana are by far the two largest producers, accounting for more than 50 percent of the world´s cocoa.

Transporting cocoa needs a little more attention than your usual FAK (Freight All Kinds) commodity – it is susceptible to odours and is subject to self-digestion, self-heating, rot and mould.

To combat these problems raw cocoa is transported in "coffee containers" which allow natural ventilation. The containers are then installed with custom made high-strength polyethylene which allows oceanic transit without loss of quality and quantity. 

AAI International Newport Ltd is run by Erica and Simon, who have 35 years of combined experience. 

We specialise in ocean imports and offer a full range of services from door-door, to customs clearance and UK delivery - if your cargo is paid to UK port. With high levels of customer service we are committed to excellence and will help guide you through these turbulent times. With an extensive array of agents around the globe, as well as access to all major shipping lines, we will find the solution to your shipping needs.

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