Cocoa breeders

Arrius

Senior Member
English, UK
Just heard an expert on the BBC, a native anglophone, talking about the plan to establish the genetic code of the cocoa plant to provide healthier, more disease-resistant varieties in the future, refer to cocoa breeders. I know you breed horses, pigs and cattle, even fish, but I never heard of breeders of plants before. The word breeder was obviously used as a synonym for farmer. I concede that the word breed might legitimately be used in this context to imply careful scientific selection and cross pollination to improve the quality of the product, but cocoa breeder still sounds queer for a farmer, even if his work involves such practices.
Furthermore, my old geography master used to refer to this plant before processing as cacao, not cocoa, but that is another story, and cocoa it certainly is called on the futures market at the stock exchange.
 
  • Polopino

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that it sounds odd in this context, but the verb 'breed' and the noun 'breeder' are used extensively in the horticultural world.

    I suppose the difficulty stems from the absence of a synonym ... at least I can't think of one right now, and I don't think 'cultivator/grower' is specific enough in this context.
     
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    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    That would also be fine. It would also make the meaning clear for less savvy listeners, who may not realise that cocoa comes from a plant.

    Also, you're right Arrius, Cacao is the plant/tree, cocoa is a product of the Cacao tree. Saying "the cocoa plant" is analagous to saying "the beef animal". But again, some people may not know what a Cacao tree is, especially if it's not grown in their region.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I have the same opinion as se16teddy. Plant breeders develop new varieties, they are not necessarily the cultivators who grow the crops commercially.
     
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