Fine Chocolate Glossary


Welcome To The Chocolate Glossary 

Based on recent survey findings, FCIA has launched this Glossary of Fine Chocolate Terms a.k.a. the Chocolate Glossary, a publicly accessible research tool. This is a crowd-sourced collection of terms designed to address industry confusion by establishing a common language around all aspects of chocolate. 

This is no small task. The fine chocolate ecosystem is global and encompasses many languages and cultures from around the globe. It’s time that is understood, embraced, and defined. 

This innovative, knowledge-sharing tool is helpful for people at all levels of chocolate knowledge and welcomes input from stakeholders throughout the value chain. Definitions will be authored by invited experts (FCIA members and non-members), and are required to: 1) use language accessible to a non-expert; 2) include a reference list of credible sources; 3) include an example specific to cocoa/chocolate if the term is not specific to the industry, i.e. “fair trade”. It’s open source, collaborative and everyone’s invited to contribute.

FCIA Glossary Submission Template
This document shares the format for Glossary entries and gives sample terms as models. This should be the starting point for anyone interested to contribute a Glossary entry.

Feedback Form: FCIA Glossary of Fine Chocolate Terms
Anyone can use this Google form to propose a term to add to the Glossary; a new author or webinar speaker; or suggest revisions to existing terms
Submission Form: FCIA Glossary of Fine Chocolate Terms
Invited authors will use this Google form to submit their Glossary entries

Entries will be subject to ongoing review and revision by FCIA members and external experts. For questions regarding the glossary contact Bill Guyton



Alternative Livelihood
Artisan Chocolate
Bean to Bar (Chocolate)
Big Chocolate
Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC)
Child Labor (or Labor, Child)
Chocolate Confection
Chocolate Liquor
Chocolate Maker
Clean Label
Climate-Smart Agriculture
Cocoa, Fine or Flavor
Cocoa Butter
Cocoa Farmer
Cocoa Liquor
Cocoa Mass
Cocoa Nibs
Cocoa Paste
Cocoa Powder
Cocoa Producer Organization
Commodity Market
Craft Chocolate
Demonstration Farm
Direct Trade
Dry Beans
Economic Premium
Farmgate Price
Farming Input
Fermentation, Basket
Fermentation, Box
Fermentation, Bucket
Fermentation, Heap
Fine Chocolate
Food Insecurity
Forest-Edge Community (FEC)
Free on Board (FOB)
Freight Costs
Gender-Based Violence
Genetics, Cacao
Green Production Models
Heirloom Variety
Impact Report
Importer (or Specialty Importer?)
In-house Certification
Industrial Chocolate
Integrated Natural Resources Management
Labor, Forced
Labor, Slave
Labor, Unpaid
Liquor to Bar (Chocolate Maker)
Livelihood Diversification
Living Income
Living Income Differential
Marginalized Groups
Metric Tonne (MT)
Middleman / Middlewoman
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
Partner Organizations
Pastry Chef
People of Color
Post-Harvest Processing
Price Premium
Price, Above Market
Price, Commodity
Price, World Market
Producer Price
Public-Private Partnership
Raw Chocolate
Raw Cocoa
Reference Pricing
Regenerative Agriculture
Responsibly Sourced
Roasted, Lightly
Roasted, Safely
Single Origin (Chocolate)
Social Premium
Sourcing Report
Specialty Chocolate
Specialty Retailer
Superior Quality Cocoa
Supply Chain
Sustainable Cocoa
Third Party Certification
Tier 1 Supplier
Tier 2 Supplier
Tier 3 Supplier
Transparency Report
Tree to Bar (Chocolate)
Two-Ingredient Chocolate
Underrepresented Minorities
Value Addition
Value Chain
Village Savings & Loans Program
Virgin Chocolate
Wet Beans
Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Clean Label (see also Certification)

“Clean” is not a certification. It is a concept that describes products with a minimal number of ingredients, where those ingredients are natural or naturally derived, minimally processed, and transparently sourced. All ingredients should offer a nutritional or functional benefit. There is currently no industry standard for “clean.”
An example of a fine chocolate product that might fall under the “clean label” concept is Two-Ingredient Chocolate, which is made using only cocoa mass and sugar, no additives (such as lecithin), where the cocoa is transparently sourced and the processing is fine-tuned to the natural flavors/textures of those ingredients.1

Farm Gate Price (see also Producer Price, Wet Cocoa, Dry Cocoa)

The price paid directly to a farmer for their product, at the farm. Theoretically, the Farm Gate Price would be lower than the price the farmer would receive if they transported their product to another location to sell it, for example to a town market or buying shed in a different village. The price received at off-farm locations should be higher, to reflect the costs of transport and marketing. However, in practice, the Farm Gate Price is often the same price a farmer will receive elsewhere.
Sometimes the price beyond the farm gate is in fact higher. For example, some farmers in Sierra Leone Gola Rainforest-edge communities live near the large trading town of Kenema, where a number of cocoa buyers operate. If a farmer sells cocoa directly from their farm, they receive the Farm Gate Price. If the farmer transports cocoa to Kenema, they receive the “Kenema price,” which is higher than the Farm Gate Price, because it reflects the costs of transporting cocoa from the farm to Kenema.2

Living Income Differential (LID) (see also Living Income)

A $400 MT premium affixed to all cocoa sales from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s first and second largest cocoa producing countries, as of the 2020/21 season. The LID was enacted by joint agreement between the countries’ respective cocoa marketing boards, Le Conseil du Café-Cacao (CCC) and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD). The boards agreed to legislate a minimum price paid to farmers of 70% of $2600 MT FOB (Free on Board). This amount was considered a step towards paying a Living Income to cocoa farmers. Assuming a $2200 MT FOB price, which was roughly the world market price when CCC and COCOBOD were establishing LID terms (2019/2020), the additional $400 MT would ensure a gross FOB of $2600 MT, the target living income price floor.
The initial reaction to the introduction of the LID was contentious. While most buyers publicly supported the LID, the heads of CCC and in particular COCOBOD accused several Big Chocolate companies, notably Hershey, of finding ways to avoid making the LID payment. In response, COCOBOD and CCC threatened to suspend the in-country cocoa sustainability programs of any company that did not meet LID terms. At the time of writing, the future of the LID was uncertain, with some analysts suggesting it could not be maintained over the long term.3


Traceability (see also Transparency)

Traceability in the fine/craft cocoa value chain is the physical journey a bean takes from the farmer to the end chocolate product. Traceability is important because it supports quality, safety, and consistency, which are all essential to fine chocolate making. The importance of connection and information exchange and feedback is only possible when actors are connected. The interconnectedness of the fine chocolate ecosystem gives the consumer information to make a well-informed purchase. Traceability is a physical map of the process from grower to chocolate maker, empowering and celebrating each actor in the value chain.4

Transparency (see also Traceability)

Where Traceability is the map of cocoa’s physical journey from farmer to end product, Transparency is the willingness to share the map. Transparency fosters collaboration in the industry, not duplicated efforts. It allows chocolate makers to communicate quality as it relates to evaluating equity, traceability, impact, and positive change in the value chain.
The specialty trader Uncommon Cacao further defines Transparency as “verifiable, published pricing for every transaction related to a cacao purchase along the supply chain, including information about who produced it and where.”
In the fine/craft chocolate segment, the first company to produce a Transparency Report was Taza Chocolate in Somerville, MA, in 2011. Since then, numerous chocolate companies have published a Transparency Report, sometimes also called a Sourcing Report or an Impact Report.5

1. Contributed by:
Kate Cavallin, General Manager, Head of Cacao Latitudes 

A Legal Look at the Definition of ‘Clean Label,Steven Shapiro, Clean Label Digital Magazine, Rivkin Radler Attorneys at Law, August 2017

2. Contributed by:
FCIA Value Chain Committee
Kristy Leissle, Scholar & Author, Cocoa & Chocolate Industries

Concepts on Price Data, Economic and Social Development Stream, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), not dated

Personal communication: “Kenema price” example described to Kristy Leissle by members of Ngoleagorbu Cocoa Farmers’ Union, Kenema, Sierra Leone, 2018

3. Contributed by:
Kristy Leissle, Scholar & Author, Cocoa & Chocolate Industries

Côte d’Ivoire & Ghana set a fixed living income differential of $400 per tonne of cocoa to relieve farmer poverty,” Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Latest News, July 15, 2019

Dawn of the Living Income Differential’s potential major impact on West African cocoa farming,” Neill Barston, Confectionery Production, October 7, 2020

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire threaten cocoa sustainability schemes if producers don’t pay more for beans,” Anthony Myers, Confectionery News, October 14, 2019

Hershey move of buying cocoa on futures market threatens LID agreement with Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire,” Anthony Myers, Confectionery News, November 23, 2020
4. Contributed by:
FCIA Value Chain Committee

What is Traceability?Traceability Solutions, Resources Center, Keyence, not dated

Traceability,” Transparence Cacao, not dated
5. Contributed by:
FCIA Value Chain Committee
Stasi Baranoff, Impact Consultant

Transparent Trade,” Uncommon Cacao, not dated

Taza Chocolate celebrates milestone, shines light on industry,” Asia Sherman, Food Navigator, February 2, 2022

2021 Transparency Report,” Taza Chocolate, December 2021

Child Labor
Matthias Lange, Executive Director, International Cocoa Initiative
Chef Selassie Atadika, Founder, Midunu Chocolates & Culinary Ambassador
Heirloom Cacao
Chef Maricel Presilla, Culinary Historian & Author

Simran Bindra, Director at Kokoa Kamili
Brian LoBue, Director at Kokoa Kamili

Value Chain
Emily Stone, Co-Founder & CEO, Uncommon Cacao
Marika van Santvoort, Founder & CEO, Pacha de Cacao and Co-Founder, Gaia Cacao