NEW cocoa products are in the early stages of development and experts have projected its potential to generate income for Solomon Islands’ households.
The cocoa products included cocoa face cream, called “Baby Face”, cocoa tea made from the skin of individual cocoa beans, drinking chocolate, cocoa nibs and two products with limited to no retail availability in international markets such as Australia: dried cocoa beans and cocoa powder still containing cocoa butter.
The new products were developed and showcased at the previously held workshop facilitated by the Australian Government initiative, Strongim Bisnis at National Auditorium in Honiara.
The workshop hosted Koko Samoa trainers Oongah Browne and Floris Niu, trained 20 Solomon Islander teachers—of whom most were women—on how to make, market and sell drinking chocolate and other cocoa products. During this workshop the participants considered the commercial aspects of the products including products names, packages and the overall brand name, Kokoa Solomone.
Australian High Commission Second Secretary, Cass Grant stressed that the new cocoa products has the potential to generate income for Solomon Islands’ households, as each product may be made with little to no equipment, in the home.
“The new cocoa products demonstrated the innovation that exists in the Solomon Islands cocoa sector. The Australian Government is committed to helping the Solomon Islands create new jobs and grow the economy and is proud to support innovation in the cocoa sector.”
During the cooking demonstration, Browne and Niu demonstrated how to make a drinking chocolate using cocoa beans and other cocoa recipes. The audience was able to participate in making and trying the products, including the cocoa face cream. The public were also able to try drinking chocolate and tea made from the roasted husks of the cocoa bean.
The Australian Government has supported programs such as the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus program (PHAMA PLUS), the Rural Development Program (RDP) and Strongim Bisnis. SolChoc 2019 is also supported by international agencies such as the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) and national entities such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Commodity Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) and Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).