17 Jun 2013

New Zealand company to launch Solomons' chocolate

3:19 pm on 17 June 2013

A New Zealand-based company is planning to produce the world's first designated Solomon Islands chocolate.

Cocoa exporter C-Corp shipped six tonnes of cocoa beans from Honiara last month to its newly established processing plant in Tauranga in New Zealand.

While the initial plan will be to process and distribute cocoa products to New Zealand manufacturers, general manager Peter Keyte says the company wants to create a product line of chocolate sourced exclusively from Solomon Islands - something which has never been done before.

He says New Zealand will be a good place to launch 100 percent Solomon Island chocolate bars, which C-Corp hopes will happen by next year.

"There's some very boutique chocolatiers in New Zealand and it's a small market that tends to be a very forgiving market. I'm a New Zealander, we know we've got a very strong affiliation with the Pacific Islands."

While the project is still at a formative stage, Mr Keyte says C-Corp hopes to soon be exporting 30 tonnes of cocoa beans to New Zealand a month.

The shipment comes not long after chocolate giant Cadbury-Kraft revealed its plans to source 10,000 tonnes of cocoa from Solomon Islands.