ABOUT CACAO FIJI LTD
Quality cacao beans for craft chocolate makers of the world
How we began?
Cacao Fiji Ltd began operations in the Fiji Islands in 2014. The company is involved in the farming, processing and exporting cocoa beans for craft chocolate. We place high emphasis on quality at every aspect of our production. Cacao Fiji Ltd also works with network of cocoa farmers throughout the Fiji Islands. We pride ourselves as leading the change in the revival Fiji cocoa industry We take our inspiration from the craft chocolate community for changing the chocolate market and contributing to a revival of cocoa farming in Fiji and new origins.
In 2012, Arif met several farmers on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, who were “passionate about cocoa farming” but struggled to find markets for their products. The distinctive flavor profile imparted by Fiji’s terroir was unique and impressive after tasting a bar made of Fiji beans. These events inspired him to move back to his home country and make it his mission to help revive Fiji’s cacao industry.
Our Flavor Notes
"The aroma is of raisins. That deeply sweet impression of dried fruits and vanilla. There are the deep low toned fruits, not the bright acidity ones. There is also a crème brule caramelization that is a sharp tangy shot to the senses.
The flavor has that same crème brule depth of flavor. Various nuts are present. Soft and round flavored ones like cashew and macadamia nuts. Raisins are again present in the taste along with the huge lingering mouth feel and intense chocolate. May well be the best Forastero I’ve ever had. It has virtually everything I love about chocolate rolled into one".
Dreketi, Vanua Levu
Matasawalevu Cocoa Project
HISTORY OF MATASAWALEVU COCOA PROJECT
The Matasawalevu Cocoa Farm is located in Dreketi, Macuata, in the hills of Northern Fiji, 16°33’ S Latitude and 178°52’ E Longitude. It is located in Vanua Levu, the secound largest island of Fiji. It is one of the larger cacao farms in Fiji and started operations around 1979. The farm once covered an area of 400 acres but at present consists of approximately 100 acres of Forestero Amelonado cacao. The Matasawalevu farm has a well established reputation of producing quality cocoa and post-harvest processing operations closely follow traditional techniques.
History of Fiji Cocoa Industry
Cocoa was introduced in Fiji in 1880 by the British with several varieties Trinitario from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Trinidad . The modern day development of the industry was initiated in 1960's when the government made efforts to establish cacao as a smallholder crop to be interplanted with coconut. The Amelando variety was introduced as it proved to be relatively disease resistant. Although the government efforts and increased prices resulted in an upswing in the industry during the second half of the 60's, exports lingered at insignificant levels until the mid 70's and did not take off considerably until the early 1980's as world prices increased.
Following independence, there was a large government led cocoa expansion program based on Amelonado variety. Fijian cocoa production remained fairly constant during the 80's and peaked at all time high of 468 tonnes in 1987. The industry demised following the military coup of 1987.
Country: Fiji Islands, South Pacific
Origin: Matasawalevu, Dreketi.
Nearest Towns: Labasa, Savusavu
Varietal Composition: Highly flavored Forestero Amelonado
Terroir: Located in Northern Fiji, on a hilly farm, with an ideal microclimate for cultivating cocoa
Harvest: Mid-March-May / October- December
Fermentation Method: Four Tiered hardwood box fermentation
Drying style: Sun dry
Bean count: 87 beans per 100 grams
Process: Centralized fermentary and drying facility. Fresh cacao is loaded into 3-tier hardwood fermentation boxes and closely monitored for 5-7 days with daily bean rotation. Fully fermented cacao is dried on decks for approximately 1 week. Each batch is raked regularly each day and hand sorted into GrainPro sealed bags for export.
FOR A UNIQUE QUALITY
Our harvest is ongoing throughout the year but our main harvest is around April May and from October to November
Fresh cacao is loaded into 4-tier hardwood fermentation boxes and closely monitored for 5-7 days.
The beans are dried on platforms under the sun until they reach 7% humidity or below.
The beans are carefully hand-sorted sorted to discard damaged, double, small and flat beans. Beans are stored in a warehouse in jute bags.