SUNBIZ

Cacao Fiji Aims For High Quality Cocoa To The US

One of the keys to opening new markets for export is quality. With this in mind, founder of Cacao Fiji, Arif Khan, is preparing to enter the US market with
15 Oct 2014 10:16
Cacao Fiji Aims For High Quality Cocoa To The US
Cacao Fiji founder, Arif Khan. Photo: JONA KONATACI

One of the keys to opening new markets for export is quality.

With this in mind, founder of Cacao Fiji, Arif Khan, is preparing to enter the US market with his highest quality cocoa beans exports from Fiji.

Mr Khan has been living in USA for the past 18 years who has taken advantage of Fiji’s dual citizenship offer.

He was here the past week for a two-day 2014 USA Inbound Mission to Fiji.

Cacao Fiji is involved in producing, farming and exporting cocoa from Fiji primarily to the US market first.

But Mr Khan said they will later be expanding to export to Australia, New Zealand and hopefully to the Europe.

The company is looking to have the first container of export ready by mid next year.

Mr Khan said they are looking at one container initially which would contain anywhere from 15 tonnes to 18 tonnes of cocoa beans.

“Our aim is really to be the largest exporter of cocoa from Fiji starting with the US market,” he said.

In terms of investment, Mr Khan said this is a long-term project for them but they are looking at investing a minimum of $0.5 million initially.

“The idea is to keep reinvesting into the project,” he said.

The two models

Cacao Fiji is working with two models. One is the company understands there are a number of farms available and they are willing to lease it and operate them.

The other, they are willing to work with the farmers, buy their wet beans and process it to maintain quality.

“There are farms owned by farmers in Rakiraki and Tailevu. We are willing to lease it and operate it. And if there are farmers who are running their own farms, we are happy to buy their wet seeds because we have tested before,” he said.

Investing in Fiji

Mr Khan said his interest in investing in Fiji began after learning about the dual citizenship being offered by the Bainimarama Government.

“So when I got my dual citizenship, I started looking at ways to come back to Fiji and invest,” he said.

“Then I had a chance meeting with the local office in Rakiraki and they said they had a local exporter of cocoa beans who had left and there were farmers who were then looking for a market.

“So I said I will look into that. So then that became my research and I took some beans. Then I came back with the feedback.

“So now we are going back and looking to set up a processing centre in Rakiraki and then will start processing it.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 




Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper