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Exports of cocoa and its products increased 57.4% in 2014

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Europeans ate a few more chocolate covered waffles or drank a cup or two more of hot chocolate last year than they did in 2013, according to Peruvian cocoa export figures.

Exports of cocoa and its derivatives from Peru grew by 57.4% last year after higher demands for the plant from Europe sky-rocketed, according to Andina news agency.

The Peruvian Association of Exporters (Adex) informed Andina that in 2014, cocoa exports amounted to a total of US$ 247.4 million, primarily due to the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Netherlands accounted for 22% of total shipments of Peruvian cocoa and its derivatives last year, representing an increase of 103.1% compared to 2013. Finishing after the Netherlands was the United States worth US$ 39.1 million, an increase of 13.9%. Following after were Belgium at US$ 27.2 million, Germany US$ 20.2 million, and Italy, Spain, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Canada, Panama, among others.

Although cocoa has a great future, we should consider the foreign markets are applying demanded phytosanitary measures, which can have an impact on shipments that are sent abroad, Giannina Denegri, head of the agriculture section at Adex, told Andina.

For that reason, Denegri highlighted that a specialized group working to promote chocolate consumption at a national and international level.

Peru hopes to expand further in their newer markets Estonia, India, Gambia and Luxembourg.

Cocoa derivatives shipped out of Peru include cocoa butter, chocolates, cocoa paste, cocoa powder, ice cream, cocoa peel, and cocoa oil.

Denegri confirmed 94 countries received shipments including these products last year. Demand is high but health standards cause concern in the effort to promoting its consumption.

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Hillary moved to Peru in August of 2014 to learn Spanish, live with her family, and pursue writing. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Ca, Hillary earned her B.A. in Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley. Since moving to Peru she drinks fermented potato and coca concoctions daily and is enjoying learning about the abundant and natural andean foods of the country. Hillary hopes one day to become an investigative journalist. You can follow her blog.