From Paris to Toronto, Vancouver to San Francisco, chocolate lovers are now loving their bars made from Fiji cocoa beans.
This has been possible through some hard work and belief by cocoa farmer and founder of Cacao Fiji Limited Arif Khan that they can produce world class cocoa beans.
The company started in 2014.
Mr Khan said he has been sending samples throughout the world.
“We have sent samples to Spain, Belgium and the furthest is to Helsinki, Finland,” Mr Khan said.
“The resurgence of a craft chocolate movement has been the impetus for a cocoa revival in Fiji.
“Fiji can only compete as a speciality and niche product.
“So we take great measures on quality control in order to supply world class cacao.
“Still it has not been an easy ride with a lot of learning curves and not enough technical support.
“This is a passion to make a difference in the lives of the cocoa farmers who did not have market access or a consistent one at least.
“It certainly has not been profitable as we continue to develop the market,” he said.
Mr Khan added: “This year, we have started work on building a processing center in Nunukoloa, Rakiraki, a central fermented making it feasible to pick up from collections points and have quality control.
“We are setting up a nursery and a model cocoa farm to train farmers to improve yield.
“It is a mammoth undertaking and we will need all sorts of assistance.
“But clearly, it is all worth it since it is a market driven revival and the social impact to farmers is tremendous.
“We are also developing a new kind of tourism whereby recently our chocolate makers visiting our farm.
“We had a chance meeting with our clients and the Assistance Minister of Agriculture Viam Pillay recently.
“Our clients from Cello chocolate have rated our cocoa beans as a top seller alongside with Peru.
“The beans impart a special flavour based on the terroir.
“The craft movement is craving new origin flavours and now Fiji origin is available ,” he said.
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