Artisan chocolate from rare Bougainville cocoa


The Wellington Chocolate factory, a New Zealand craft chocolatier, plans to make an artisan chocolate bar with rare cocoa beans from Papua New Guinea’s autonomous province Bougainville.<!--more-->

The company is raising finance for its Bougainville chocolate project through the Kickstarter crowdfunding website, where it launched the campaign on November 6. The unique campaign involves a sailboat voyage across the Pacific all the way to Bougainville in the quest for the rare cocoa bean.

“The aim of the campaign is to put Bougainville on the map as a world-class cocoa region,” the company’s co-founder Gabe Davidson told the Three News television channel in New Zealand.

Mr Davidson along with co-founder Rochelle Harrison will sail to the island, pay a fair price to farmer James Rutana, who grows the beans, and bring back to their Wellington factory to produce artisan chocolate bars from the unique cocoa beans. Initially, they will make 12,000 bars of chocolate, which will also be made available to individual investors on the crowdfunding website.

“If we can prove this is a working, sustainable model in Bougainville, then we can look to other countries in the South Pacific to work directly with and windsail their cocoa beans to New Zealand,” Mr Davidson told Three News.

Pacific Island Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) New Zealand offices worked with the chocolate maker in the early stages, assisting with the groundwork involved in sourcing the rare bean in Bougainville and providing logistic and local information. Papua New Guinea’s Ken Pep, who worked as intern at the PT&amp;I Auckland office earlier this year worked on the project.

For more on the project, watch <a href="http://youtube/vRRgShmDxEI">http://youtube/vRRgShmDxEI</a>