It has a rich, nutty flavour, reminiscent of the taste of the bars produced at Belmont Estate in Grenada.

But this chocolate bar is made in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where the beans are also grown.

“The chocolate you are eating now is made from beans grown in St. Vincent. So, it is a very proud and exciting day for us all, Harry Marriott, chair of the St. Vincent Cocoa Company said at an event in Kingstown on Tuesday to launch the chocolate bar

He said that while growing cocoa remains the main focus of the company, he and Managing Director, Andrew Hadley, had always intended to make chocolate as soon as possible.

Machinery and equipment have been ordered with a view to setting up a small chocolate factory shortly, the executive announced.

“We already produce top-quality, fine-flavoured cocoa. We are about to produce great chocolate. We are so well placed, but we do need support from farmers, from retailers, from the community, from the press and most importantly of all, from our government. It is very much a team effort.”

Marriott said that making chocolate bars is a profitable business in its own right and also adds value.

“It is vital we are seen adding value here in St. Vincent, employing people, whenever possible,” Shearman said.

He said the local production of chocolate bar could be a boost to the nation’s tourism “by producing a product all Vincent can be proud of”.

The St. Vincent Cocoa Company is committed to creating an excellent cocoa industry locally by providing support for every cocoa farmer in St. Vincent and guaranteeing to by their cacao,” Marriott said.

“We are already providing jobs for 60 employees just within our company and with potentially many more to come,” he said, noting also the company’s cocoa nursery.

He said while this is a big investment, the company is confident because Lindt and Barry Callebaut “who are by far the biggest chocolate makers in the entire world have analysed our chocolate and they absolutely love it.

“And I have got personal contacts in the top of both of these companies and they both assured me that they will buy whatever we produce here. So, the fear that we will not be able to sell what we produce is completely unfounded,” Marriott said.

He said SVG has the perfect growing conditions, a knowledgeable support team, an excellent product, a guaranteed market and a well-funded business.

“A thriving cocoa industry could provide a huge number of jobs, excellent use of spare lands, and a welcome boost to our the country’s GDP and balance of payment,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar congratulated the St. Vincent Cocoa Company “for the production of excellent chocolate.

“As Minister of Agriculture, I am definitely proud. You know, when we visited Grenada four years ago when we were seeking assistance, we enjoyed a good chocolate there and I hoped that one day that I would be able to send chocolate to Grenada,” he told reporters at the event.

7 replies on “Company begins producing chocolate bars in St. Vincent”

  1. This is Great News , and I wish the Company a lot of success . It would be good if the Cocoa
    Growers form a Cocoa Cooperative . I also wonder if it is possible that the Company , puts
    a small flag of SVG on the wrapper of the chocolate bars .

    Perhaps also , they can do a Public test regarding the colours to use on the outer wrappers so
    that people will have an impulse to buy the product . However overall , this is a wonderful
    achievement , and I wish ALL involved much success .

    I hope that it would be available to Vincentians in the Diaspora , England , Canada , the USA
    etc . This is where the Argyle Airport would be very useful in facilitating the access to Vincentians & others abroad . Never mind the badmouthing of the Airport by the Troglodyte
    who calls himself C. ben-David .

  2. This sounds really good. Can’t wait to try that chocolate!

    Something like this should not be allowed to fail. Come on Vinci people/government, get behind this venture and give it all you can.

    I for one am going to do my part…Yeah man! “Big up to da Vinci chocolate” …Way to go”!

  3. Hopefully, the company can acquire at least 2,000 acres of land divided into large holdings (rather than uneconomical and unreliable peasant holdings [1- 5 acres]), a high and steady output of cocoa, a low-cost but reliable work force, and steady long-term external demand. All of these are necessary to compete in the global cocoa trade.

    If we have the ideal climate, soil, etc. to produce premium cocoa, this might give us a niche-market advantage over some other producers because we would never be able to compete with such countries as the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Brazil on a production level or cost of production basis.

    But the global market for chocolate products keeps growing and is growing — even Brazil, the Western Hemisphere’s largest producer of cocoa has to import cocao from elsewhere to satisfy local demand and there is a global shortage of cocao based on supply and demand — and support should be given to the company by offering them idle Crown land and other concessions, including the duty free import of machinery and other inputs, if all due diligence requirements are met.

    But absolutely no public money, including loan guarantees and other financial support, which would leave us liable for the company’s debts if the project happens to fail should be part of an aid package.

  4. All non-government people in SVG will support this product. The key question is:…will the government support it? Up till now they have been supportive. The government is also mainly supportive of bee-keeping and Honey production. The problem is that the government of SVG usually only supports few industries. What I mean by that is that they usually tax everything to collapse in SVG. We have very high taxes and Customs Duty charges here and that makes it prohibitive for any industry to be successful. Our Corporate Income tax should be at least as low as 21% with a 5-year waiver, and the Customs Duty on Production machines should be no higher than 10%. Instead we have a Corporate Tax of what amounts to be 34%, NO waiver for startups and Customs Duty can get as high as over 80% That is on the CIF! (Cost, Insurance, Freight). This means you always pay over 100% of what you paid for the item overseas. In the USA it is 6.2%. In Singapore when they were growing it was almost ZERO.
    Packaging material in SVG is also very expensive.
    FORGET THE LIES BY HANS KING SAYING ALL AGRO-PROCESSING MACHINES IN SVG ARE DUTY-FREE. HANS KING IS A LIAR!!!!!
    This is why SVG never goes anywhere and is a failed Economy… The government is too greedy and that makes all the costs of everything too high, causing farm labour costs to also be too high. In Brazil an average farm worker gets 1.60 US per day and all the costs are lower. In SVG the average farm worker gets 18.$ US per day and that buys nearly the same as what 1.60$ buys in Brazil.
    SVG will continue to get poorer until we one day get a leader that cares about the future growth of SVG instead of a plantation boss that cares only about short-term revenue….and thereby ends up in the long-term with LESS revenue!

    1. The key issue is the inability and unwillingness of this and other governments to clamp down hard on income tax evasion. If all the income tax that should be paid plus arrears were collected, import duties would be able to shrink by at least 75 percent, thereby benefiting the entire economy.

  5. What the hell do a few chocolate bars have to do with, “Argyle Airport … in facilitating the access to Vincentians & others abroad?”

    Chocolate manufacturing is a classic mercantilist endeavour: the locally grown and dried cacao beans are shipped overseas where they can be cheaply processed into cocoa which is then processed into chocolate. Whether we can produce a few chocolate bars at home for our own consumption will never change this very economical manufacturing process.

  6. This is fantastic news – Aim high and export. The government need to get behind startup business and ease the tax burden on them for at least the first year whist they get established. Help them get going – don’t cripple them before they can turn a profit.

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