The University of Reading has gained an international reputation for cocoa research since the early 1980s. Custom-built greenhouse facilities allow plants to be grown under conditions simulating cocoa-producing regions, facilitating innovative research on how the crop responds to its environment. The genetic resources database and quarantine facility hosted by the University support international cocoa research and breeding by enabling scientists to find out about and exchange planting materials, while minimising the risk of spreading devastating pests and diseases. Excellent links with institutes in the tropics have resulted in joint projects to study and conserve the genetic diversity of the crop, to improve crop establishment, and to detect and control pests and diseases. Such projects have established the University of Reading as a globally important centre for cocoa research.