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Cocoa Processing Unit Launched

  Fiji’s first community-managed cocoa processing unit was launched in Lutu Village, Naitasiri, yesterday. The processing unit, which consisted of a fermenter and a cocoa dryer, was provided by the
10 Feb 2017 11:03
Cocoa Processing Unit Launched
European Union Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E. Andrew Jacobs is being garlanded by a woman of Lutu Village, Naitasiri during the cocoa processing unit launch yesterday. Photo: IVAMERE NATARO

 

Fiji’s first community-managed cocoa processing unit was launched in Lutu Village, Naitasiri, yesterday.

The processing unit, which consisted of a fermenter and a cocoa dryer, was provided by the European Union (EU)-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodities Trade (IACT) project that is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

“This is really an important moment for Fiji’s cocoa industry because after years of decline, it has bounced back and recovered,” EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs said.

“There is an increasing demand worldwide, and particularly in Europe, for speciality chocolates distinguished by their pure ingredients and unique tastes.

“I am convinced that Fiji cocoa, grown and harvested naturally in the pristine environment of the South Pacific, has all the attributes to entice chocolate lovers around the world.”

The project worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to locate key cocoa growing areas and to identify the best locations for the new processing units.

Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary for Agriculture Development, Uraia Waibuta said: “Cocoa will always remain one of the priority crops for the Ministry of Agriculture. We are so thankful to the EU for its support towards this project.”

“TC Winston caused devastating loss to the cocoa sector and simultaneously it presented an opportunity to rebuild and improve existing structures. With the IACT-TC Winston Recovery Action, our aim is to create a sustainable and resilient cocoa sector that can expand into the market and also recover efficiently from future disaster,” SPC Land Resources Director, Jan Helsen said.

The cocoa processing unit will be managed and operated by the Wainaka Cocoa Growers Association, which represents the cocoa farmers from Lutu Village and the surrounding area.

 Tomorrow in the Fiji Sun Business Liftout: The Lutu chocolate connection.

Feedback:  ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

 



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