Reading's International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC,R), the only facility of its type in the world, has been ensuring cocoa producing countries receive varieties that are free from pests and diseases for nearly 30 years.
The University of Reading took over responsibility for cocoa quarantine from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1985 and has received support from the UK chocolate and cocoa industry and other sources to construct, maintain and staff a purpose built facility.
BCCCA, the trade association for UK chocolate manufactures provided the initial funding to construct and run the facility from 1987 to 2008 when this role was taken over by CRA Ltd. (a UK based organisation managing scientific research on behalf of Mars Inc., Mondelez International and the London Cocoa Futures Market (ICE Futures Europe)). Contributions were also initially received from some of the countries and organisations receiving material, though now materials are normally supplied free of charge for research purposes. In 2001, Masterfoods (now Mars Inc.) financed an extension to the facility and co-funded operational costs until March 2006 when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) took over the role of cofinancier. Additional support was provided by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), between 1998 and 2009, as part of the CFC/ICCO/IPGRI cocoa germplasm projects to supply material for the international clone and hybrid trials. In 2008, the government of the Netherlands (LNV), alongside CRA Ltd., provided a grant to install energy-saving thermal screens in the greenhouses. In late 2014, the University of Reading relocated the facility to a new site as part of the redevelopment of the original site at the Shinfield Field Unit.