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Adi Chocolate Eyes The UK, European Markets

Adi Chocolate Eyes The UK, European Markets
Men of Lutu Village, Naitasiri with Fijiana Cacao director Tomohito Zukoshi (left) and European Union ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific Andrew Jacobs (third from right) outside the newly-opened Lutu Cocoa Processing Unit cocoa beans drying shed on Thursday. Photo: IVAMERE NATARO
February 11
11:00 2017

Easy in (Fiji) Limited’s trading as, Adi Chocolate and Fijiana Cacao, is hoping to secure a market to export chocolate to in the United Kingdom and the European Union countries.

Company director Tomohito Zukoshi confirmed this during the launch of the Wainaka Cocoa Association’s Cocoa Processing Unit in Lutu, Naitasiri, on Thursday.

Mr Zukoshi said his plans were to create premium chocolate quality and to stabilise the sustainable cocoa production in Fiji.

“Chocolate is part of our revitalisation process. If you have a chocolate factory and your turnover is higher and your profit margin is higher than you can support more cocoa farmers,” he said.

The domestic market, he said, accounted for about 90 per cent of their chocolate sales with most going to hotels, Nadi International Airport, and shops such as Tappoo and Jack’s of Fiji.

“I invested in chocolate production because chocolate needs cocoa and we don’t import cocoa from overseas and we like to show the world what Fiji can produce.”

 

Cocoa production

Mr Zukoshi said in 1882 cocoa was brought to Fiji by Great Britain’s Kew Gardens.

He said: “Cocoa production was very low so over the years as my passion for cocoa grew, I decided to make an industry within Fiji.”

He added they began venturing into the cocoa industry in 2005.

This, he said, was after their restaurant, Cruisers Japanese Restaurant, which was based in Copra Shed Marina, Savusavu, closed after two years of operation.

He added they began the revitalising of the cocoa plantation from 2005 to 2006 in Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu and produced chocolate which was not of great quality.

That was then.

Now Mr Zukoshi, who has been involved in the cocoa production for about 10 years, said they were able to produce about 20 tonnes of chocolate a year.

“Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) was paramount for us at the time to ensure the safe supply of he ingredients which is cocoa beans for the chocolate.”

He said now they looked to certify their production with global cocoa standards.

“The UTZ cocoa certification is something we are working on to ensure our production is up to standard. We take our social responsibility seriously; we look at the management of the plantation and the conservation of the environment. So everybody wins in the process, the farmers and us.

“We provide trainings for farmers, fermentation boxes, tarpaulins, plastics and wheelbarrows,” he added.

His company now operates the chocolate factory in Denarau, Nadi.

Its overseas markets are the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan and a small quantity is exported to New Zealand and Australia.

Feedback:  ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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