This film is held by the BFI (ID: 18312).


INTEREST. How cacao beans are cultivated in Trinidad.

Credits (26). Shot of the coastline of Trinidad, which lies off the north coast of South America (48). The cultivation of cacao, known in manufactured form as cocoa, is the principal industry. Shot of the sea again with palm trees in the foreground (66). Marine Square, a typical thoroughfare, is shown with its horse-drawn carriages and natives going about their business (88). A river, across which a ferry brings a car (102). The extremely fertile soil produces large crops; about 70 million lbs. of cacao being exported every year. View of the plantation (125). Much care is devoted by the Department of Agriculture to the raising of seedlings for the plantations. Same shot of the plantation repeated (143). A native plants the seeds in bamboo pots and then covers them with earth (174). After a few months, the seedlings are "Budded" in order to raise heavily yielding strains. Shots of a native cutting into the stem of a plant (197). A cutting of a heavy yielding plant is grafted onto the stem of the seedling. A native binds a cutting onto the stem of a plant with tape. Shot of the newly formed branch which is produced as a result. When it is flourishing well, the main stem is cut away, leaving the branch on its own (262). When this evergreen plant is fully matured, it grows to the height of from 15 to 30 feet. A horse-drawn carriage travels between the rows of trees (297). Cacao trees in suitable positions begin to bear in about the fourth or fifth year. Natives poke the trees with sticks and the fallen fruit is collected in sacks (324). The tree bears flowers and fruit all the year round on its trunk and branches. Fruit on a trunk is knocked off with a stick (352). The ripe cacao pods, when collected by the labourers in sacks, are then emptied into heaps on the ground (381). The natives then break open the pods and the girls scoop out the beans from the pods (421). At this stage, the beans are covered with a white, pulpy substance. On one hand, a native holds a cut pod which shows the beans in the white substance and on the other hand, he holds ready-matured brown beans (468). To remove this substance, the beans are left in a sweating box where fermentation ensues after six or seven days. A native shovels beans from a cart into the box (495). They are then spread out on large trays called "boucans" with a sliding roof for protection against the rain. Natives pull the sliding roofs apart (548). Here the beans are dried in the sun...Baskets of beans are emptied onto the trays to dry (570).... and continually raked over. Natives rake the beans (586). When quite dry or "cured", the beans are put into bags (each bag containing roughly 1.5 cwt.) and shipped overseas to make "grateful and comforting" cocoa and the finest chocolate in the world. The beans are shovelled into sacks (640). Scrupulous cleanliness is observed! One woman washes clothes at a pump while another washes her child from a bucket (669 ft).




Technical Data

669 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain
Production Company
British Instructional Films



Production Organisations