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A chocolate made with more than one type of cocoa.

Cocoa bean

Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cocoa tree. The cocoa beans are the heart and soul of fruit and the basis for making chocolate; they are used to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass and finally chocolate. There are generally 40 to 60 beans in each cocoa fruit pod.

Cocoa fruit

The cocoa fruit grows on the trunks of the cocoa tree and takes four to five months to grow and another month to ripen. Altogether, it takes five to eight months from bud to ripe fruit.

The pod is green while maturing and turns yellow, orange, red or purple when ripe.

The cocoa fruit pods can vary significantly in size, from 10 to 40cm in length.

Cocoa mass

Cocoa mass is a thick, chewy, and dark brown paste that forms the basis for all chocolate products.

Cocoa nibs

Cocoa nibs are cocoa bean fragments that have been separated from their shells, broken into smaller pieces, and roasted.

Cocoa tree (Theobroma Cacao)

The tropical tree that produces cocoa beans. Theobroma means "food of the gods".

The cocoa tree is very demanding when it comes to climatic conditions, which are only found in countries in the latitudes between 20 degrees north to 20 degrees south of the equator.

The plant is a moisture-loving evergreen tropical tree that needs shade. Cocoa originates from seeds. These seeds germinate and produce good trees when they come from pods that are no more than 15 days green. Criollo and Forastero cocoa trees take longer to produce fruit. Hybrid varieties can be harvested three to four years after planting.

Factors such as farm management, soil type, diversity of cocoa trees, climate, diseases or pests have a huge impact on productivity. 30 years after planting, the yield of cocoa trees begins to decline. Then rehabilitation in the form of replanting or grafting is necessary to restore the original condition.

Cocoa varieties

As with wine or coffee, there are different cocoa varieties. The main varieties are Criollo, Trinitario (fine flavored cocoa) and Forastero (consumer cocoa). The varieties also have sub-varieties which are often of regional origin (through mutations, etc). In the case of Criollo, for example, there is Porcelana, which is grown in Venezuela.


The name of a machine and process of stirring, aerating, and heating chocolate in a certain way, making it particularly smooth. Invented by Rodolphe Lindt, one of Lindt & Sprüngli’s founding fathers, in 1879.

Consumer Cocoa

Cocoa with robust, often flat flavors (usually of the Forastero variety). Consumer cocoa accounts for the largest share, about 90-95%, of the world's total cocoa production. Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, producing about 800,000 tons of Forastero variety consumer cocoa annually – almost 20% of the global crop.


Fine cocoa bean and one of the three main cocoa bean varieties. Criollo is the rarest, most disease-prone and therefore most expensive of the three varieties Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. It grows in milder climates in South America and requires very fertile soil. The beans are very aromatic and have a low acid content, which is an advantage in the production of fine chocolate products.


In addition to proper fermentation, careful drying of the cocoa beans is important for good chocolate. The best results are achieved by natural sun drying. Drying is done differently depending on the country of cultivation (sun, gas, fire, etc.). As the cocoa trees prefer humid areas, drying is a stressful affair for the farmers, as they always have to keep a close eye on the weather and, if necessary, protect the beans from rain. In addition, they have to turn them over so that the beans can dry evenly. If they are dried incorrectly, the cocoa beans are damaged and unpleasant aromas develop. Depending on the variety and climatic conditions, drying takes 3 to 8 days. At the end of drying, the moisture content should not exceed 6.5%. If it is higher, the beans start to mold during transport.


Process through which the flavors of the cocoa beans unfold. Fermentation is a natural process used after harvesting in the country of origin. During this process, the sugar in raw cocoa beans is converted into alcohol, which eliminates germs and develops the necessary elements that change the composition of the beans so that the characteristic taste and aroma of the chocolate develop during roasting.

Fine Cocoa

The varieties Criollo and Trinitario are usually called "fine or flavor cocoa". They are more valuable than the consumer cocoa Forastero, as they are less productive and more susceptible to pests but have a much more complex and interesting taste. Fine flavored cocoa is a high-quality cocoa with nuanced, subtle flavors. It is mainly grown in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, fine flavored cocoa varieties account for only about 5% of the world's cocoa production.


One of the three main cocoa bean varieties. It is the most widely grown cocoa variety and accounts for 90-95% of the world's harvest. It has a high productivity and is resistant to diseases. Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, producing about 800,000 tons of cocoa of the Forastero variety annually – almost 20% of the world's harvest. Cocoa from Ghana is known for its high quality because of its higher fat content and low breakage. Forastero is also known as consumer cocoa.

Living-Income Differential (LID)

At the beginning of July 2019, the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana announced the introduction of a new pricing mechanism that provides for a price premium (differential) of 400 US dollars per ton of raw cocoa to benefit cocoa producers. This is to be paid in addition to the prevailing cocoa market price. This differential is intended to enable cocoa producers in both countries to obtain a better cocoa price.


Nacional cocoa grows only in Ecuador and is often counted as the fourth cocoa variety, but actually belongs to the Forastero variety. Its special position is related to its distinctive aroma.


The cocoa tree is very demanding when it comes to climatic conditions. It only grows in countries in the latitudes between 20 degrees north and 20 degrees south of the equator - the so-called cocoa belt. Cocoa trees tolerate relatively high temperatures with a maximum annual average of 30 to 32 degrees Celsius and a minimum average of 18 to 21 degrees Celsius.

Lindt & Sprüngli sources its high-quality cocoa beans from the world's best-known cocoa origins, such as Ghana, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.

Price / In-Kind Premium

Lindt & Sprüngli pays market prices per ton to suppliers, plus a so-called "differential", which depends on the country of origin and the cocoa variety (see also Living-Income Differential (LID)). In addition, we pay a price premium per ton of cocoa into our own sustainability program Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program and invest further with our Lindt Cocoa Foundation.

It is important to us that our farmers benefit directly from these services and that we thus sustainably improve their living conditions and those of the village communities. The premium can be paid out directly or the cocoa farmers can benefit from it in the form of products (e.g. work clothes, tools) or services (e.g. tree pruning service). Depending on the country and the wishes/needs of the farmers, this in-kind premium is adapted.


The production of chocolate is a complex process. It begins in the country of cultivation, where the cocoa is harvested, fermented, and dried. The chocolate maker crushes the beans, roasts, and mixes them with the ingredients – which vary according to the chocolate shop recipe – and grinds the mass very finely. Finally, the chocolate mass is conched and further processed with various ingredients.


Mass surrounding the cocoa beans. The pulp of the fruit is pale lavender in color and slippery in texture. It is edible and tastes sweet and fresh. The taste is described as vaguely lemony.

Sustainability Plan

The Lindt & Sprüngli Sustainability Plan forms the strategy for the sustainability area of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group. With the Sustainability Plan, we focus on areas that have the greatest relevance for our stakeholders and the greatest impact on the environment, society and the economy. Our intentions are to promote successful collaboration within the company, to improve the livelihoods of our suppliers in the countries of origin, to contribute to an intact environment and to delight our consumers. These four key intentions form the framework of the Lindt & Sprüngli Sustainability Plan.


Traceability makes it possible to trace cocoa beans back to their place of origin. This is a prerequisite for Lindt & Sprüngli to take on responsibility for sustainable cocoa cultivation in the countries of origin. For cocoa beans, Lindt & Sprüngli follows the "identity preserved" traceability approach. This highest level of traceability guarantees that the cocoa beans from the Farming Program are always physically processed and transported separately from all other beans and can be traced back to their origin.

The following supply chain traceability models are generally used in our approaches to sustainable sourcing of agricultural raw materials:

  • Identity preserved: Unique identification of the material and traceability back to its origin, e.g., a specific farm, a farmer group or a mill
  • Segregation: Separation of materials with sustainability characteristics from conventional materials throughout the supply chain, but not necessarily traceable back to its origin
  • Mass balance: Physical mixture of materials with and without sustainability characteristics where the volume of sustainably produced materials corresponds to the volume purchased and reported.


Fine cocoa beans and one of the three main cocoa bean varieties. A hybrid of the Criollo and Forastero varieties. Named after Trinidad, its place of origin. Grows in South America, on various Caribbean islands and few other places.