Jun 26, 2017 Last Updated 2:11 PM, Jun 12, 2017

Pods of gold

Cocoa is proving to be a big earner for Vanuatu. Inset: Makai Daniel from the Metenesel Estate on Malekula Island inspects dried cocoa beans. Cocoa is proving to be a big earner for Vanuatu. Inset: Makai Daniel from the Metenesel Estate on Malekula Island inspects dried cocoa beans. Photos: Samantha Rina/ PHAMA
Published in 2017 June
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New flavour offer for choco industry as Vanuatu cashes in

ON Malo Island in Vanuatu, Moli Lui observed in silence as the formalities of greetings and introductions took place to welcome a trade delegation of international cocoa buyers. When the theologian was finally invited to address the visitors, there was no mistaking the enthusiasm with which he spoke about his newfound interest in cocoa farming.

In the minutes that followed, Lui had impressed the buyers enough who, after sampling some of his dried cocoa beans, asked to purchase the sack of beans and have its contents divided among them. The trip to the island was part of a trade visit organised by the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (*PHAMA) Program which is funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments.

The visit aimed to establish trade relations between international cocoa buyers and local farmers, producers and exporters as well as government stakeholders in Vanuatu’s cocoa industry. The trade delegation comprised chocolate makers Greg D’Alesandre of Dandelion Chocolate in the United States of America, Karl Hogarth of Hogarth Chocolates in New Zealand, Peter Channells and Li Peng Monroe of Jasper and Myrtle in Australia and cocoa buyer Mathieu Bours from Le Cercle du Cacao in Belgium. 

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