25 Aug 2015

Bougainville cocoa sets sail for Wellington Chocolate Factory

11:51 am on 25 August 2015

The first batch of Bougainville cocoa beans is about to set sail on the first leg of its journey to becoming the world's first Bougainville chocolate bar.

One tonne of the beans are being loaded onboard the traditional vaka, "Uto Ni Yalo" as it prepares to depart Tinputz in Bougainville.

Onboard the vessel are Wellington Chocolate Factory Co-founders Gabe Davidson and Rochelle Harrison who are very excited about their cargo.

The Uto ni Yalo.

The Uto ni Yalo. Photo: Wellington Chocolate Factory

Ms Harrison says she hopes this maiden voyage marks the start of a new era for Bougainville cocoa farmers.

"There's a lot of cocoa farmers here on bougainville and its a very sort of a high quality tasting chocolate. And we are hoping to put in an enlightment on Bougainville and the cocoa industry and hoping for the future that it will open up more opportunities for other chocolate makers and give the farmers more of a value for their cacao."

Rochelle Harrison says the voyage on the vaka will take three to four weeks with a single stop in Vanuatu on the way to Wellington.

More on the WCF from The Wireless NZ.