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Taking Fijian Chocolate To The World

Exporting Fijian made chocolates to the home of world’s finest chocolate producers, Switzerland and Sweden may seem a far-fetched idea for many. However, a locally based chocolate manufacturer, Easy in
02 Nov 2017 13:50
Taking Fijian Chocolate To The World
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with the Co-Founder of Easy in Fiji Limited Tomohito Zukoshi, Chief executive officer for Investment Fiji Godo Mueller- Teut (1st from left) and the General Manager of BlueScope Chris McLoughlin during the 2017 Prime Minister’s International Business Awards on Saturday, 21 October, 2017. Photo: INVESTMENT FIJI

Exporting Fijian made chocolates to the home of world’s finest chocolate producers, Switzerland and Sweden may seem a far-fetched idea for many. However, a locally based chocolate manufacturer, Easy in Fiji, also known as Fijiana Cacao and Adi Chocolate Fiji has managed to rise against all odds and do just that.

Based in Nadi, the company started exporting its unique chocolate products to Sweden and Switzerland in 2014. The company has since than come a long way in taking Fijian made chocolates to the world and has expanded its footprint across Australia, Japan and the United States.

The man behind this extraordinary achievement is Mr. Tomohito Zukoshi whose vision, tenacity and hard work was rewarded during the 2017 Prime Minister’s International Business Awards. His small yet inspirational company was the winner of Best Small Business Operating Internationally Award.

Proudly sponsored by BlueScope Pacific Steel, this Award pays tribute to a small enterprise with sales less than a million dollars that has demonstrated significant growth and generated employment opportunities.

Mr. Zukoshi says it was a proud moment for his young company and his employees.

“We did not expect to win this Award. We feel honored to be recognized for our hard work,” Mr. Zukoshi said.

The company was established in 2005 and is known for manufacturing 12 varieties of premium chocolates from Fijian grown cacao beans. The company has purest artisan chocolate factory in the country and focuses on manufacturing chocolate that have a unique Fijian taste. Mr. Zukoshi explains that his products use unique Fijian ingredients such as kava, ginger, chilies, sea salt and coconut which has allowed him to  target niche markets.

Despite the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, Mr. Zukoshi was adamant to continue his dream and revitalize the cocoa industry in the country. Although the path to success was not always easy, Mr. Zukoshi successfully managed to reinvigorate his cacao plantations.

“Through the help of European Union and the Pacific Community, we were able to assist the cacao farmers in the country. This was an important step towards revitalization of the cocoa industry in Fiji,” he said.

Mr. Zukoshi’s ambition is to be a globally recognized producer of quality cacao beans and chocolates. In order to achieve this, the Company has designed a robust growth strategy that focuses on the establishment of cocoa processing plants. Through these plants, he hopes to create additional employment opportunities especially for women in the rural communities.  The company is also Universal Trade Zone (UTZ) certified and is actively promoting sustainable and better farming practices amongst the local cocoa farmers.

While congratulating the company, the Chief Executive Officer of Investment Fiji, Mr. Godo Mueller- Teut has encouraged the company to continue along its path.

“It is important for businesses to have value addition as core part of their growth strategy. While Fijiana Cacao certainly know their target market, it is their consistently excellent approach to customer service and their sustainable business approach that sets them apart. Increasingly, value-added products are hitting the local market as producers take advantage of high-demand product niches. This is the key to success in value added agriculture. Niche markets are where smaller Fijian producers can be most successful in creating value and establishing profitable export driven businesses”, Mr. Mueller- Teut said.

  



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