The National – Friday, December 10, 2010
By ELIZABETH VUVU
THREE samples of East New Britain’s cocoa flavour were among 50 selected internationally under the cocoa of excellence project.
Cocoa of excellence is an initiative spearheaded by two international agricultural research centres, Bioversity International and CIRAD and their chocolate-maker partners.
Yesterday, three major stakeholders in ENB, Agmark Pacific, Coconut Products Ltd (CPL) and Cocoa and Coconut Institute (CCIPNG) received certificates of excellence for their three dried bean samples that were announced among the 50 in France recently.
The 50 samples that made it through the selections process were from cocoa-producing countries in Africa, Central and South America, South East-Asia and the Pacific.
The countries were invited to send fermented and dried bean samples representing the genetic and geographic origins of their region.
Cocoa Board of PNG has been instrumental in facilitating this initiative in PNG, collecting samples and sending it to Paris.
Acting chief executive officer, Barnabas Toreu said the cocoa of excellence initiative was a project aimed at focusing on the diversity of cocoa flavours by tasting chocolate being provided by manufacturers.
He said 148 samples were received internationally but only 50 were selected for further evaluation.
ENB submitted 10 samples of which three were selected out of the final 50.
The three samples were specifically graded for special flavor which was 25% of the total.
Toreu said ENB and PNG, as a whole, was making waves internationally with its cocoa flavour and this continued to confirm the country’s position on producing fine flavoured cocoa.
“Obviously, there are people who know our unique cocoa,” Toreu said.
CPL boss Bob Wilson said cocoa could be achievable as long as it was managed in a proper manner.
He also said pruning was also an important task in the whole process of producing good quality cocoa.
CCIPNG acting chief executive officer Dr Eric Omuru said the certificates would encourage CCIPNG to do more research.
However, he added that their request for more funding from the government to carry out more research on cocoa and related products in PNG had fallen on deaf ears.
Agmark senior agriculture production manager Graham McNally thanked the small-holder farmers for their hard work in producing good quality cocoa.