Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2015 Contents BG6 NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JANUARY 2015 • WEEK FOUR
Richard Trotman, the
managing director of the
Trinidad Chocolate Fac-
tory, is hoping to con-
tribute to T&T s indus-
trialisation and the
development of the
cocoa industry with his
Trinidad Chocolate Factory which produces
chocolates and other products from cocoa
grown in T&T.
The chocolates and other products like cocoa
powder are being sold under the commercial
name, House of Arendel.
"The Trinidad Chocolate Factory was formed
in 2012 where we started formal operations.
My family and I have been involved in the
cocoa business since 1998 as cocoa farmers.
The challenge of a cocoa farmer is getting
enough income and we continued farming and
expanding. We realised we had to get into value
added that is processing the beans into some-
thing. So we took the step of going into choco-
late production which will allow the population
to experience the whole of the cocoa bean.
T&T has excellent cocoa beans which we
export. The challenge is really to develop the
He said developing manufactured products
from local raw resources whether it be cocoa
or other raw materials helps industrial devel-
"We need to have industries that will give
meaningful jobs that are sustainable. A number
of countries like the Middle East, the State
helps citizens and they live well but they do
not have meaningful jobs. T&T must begin
manufacturing and developing the value added
here. Once this is done we employ our citi-
Trotman said the company is a private ven-
ture and they are working with other private
sector interests to develop the company.
He said the main source of their beans is
from the Montserrat Cocoa Co-operative and
they are located in Gran Couva, Preysal.
"Cocoa has grown there for many, many
years. This country has an excellent reputation
internationally for the cocoa it produces. Farm-
ers produce the bean and the bean is then fer-
mented and dried. Those farmers have a facility
in Gran Couva and their facility is probably
the best in T&T. The farmers work with the
Cocoa Research Unit at UWI in terms of stan-
dards and producing a bean that has flavour.
They are the main source of our beans in
Trinidad. We also work with some people in
Apart from chocolates, he said beans can
be used to create other products.
"I am a farmer, too, and we want to create
products like chocolate. There is the nibs that
can be used with cereals, it can be used in ice
cream in toppings. It can be incorporated in
cookies, cakes and fudges. There are many
things we can do with the beans apart form
chocolates. Then there is cocoa butter that is
good for your skin."
Trotman called the industry in T&T "fledg-
"There are a number of people who create
chocolates and other things but in terms of
what we are doing, I am not sure anyone else
is doing it on this scale."
He explained there are three types of beans:
the Forastero bean which is the bulk bean, the
Criollo bean which is a fine-flavoured bean
and the Trinitario bean which is a mix of Criollo
"International people buy our fine-flavoured
cocoa and use it to flavour the rest of the bulk,
but we are making our products with 100 per
cent Trinitario. We are also more artisanal than
just a factory operation and it is hand wrapped."
100 per cent local
Terri-Ann Joseph-Brathwaite, marketing
consultant of the Trinidad Chocolate Factory,
who also spoke during the interview, said the
company is exploring the possible uses of the
Trinitario beans beyond producing chocolates.
She also said there is the chocolate bar that
comes in three sizes. There is the drinking
cocoa in the form of a ball and powder, there
is the cocoa powder which can be used in
drinks and also used for culinary purposes like
cakes. There is also the cocoa fudge and they
are developing a cookie and brownie.
The 100-gram chocolate bar is sold for $90,
25 gram multi-packet.
Joseph-Brathwaite said most of the cocoa
from T&T is processed into chocolate bars in
Europe and other places.
"The objective is to present this for everyday
From CIB boss to chocolatier:
looks to invest in $5m facility About Richard Trotman
Richard Trotman's professional back-
ground is in accounting and finance. He
holds both BSc and MSc degrees in ac-
counting from UWI and is a member of
ICATT. He did the advanced management
program at Wharton and has an LLM de-
gree in corporate and commercial law.
After graduating from UWI, Richard
worked as a financial analyst at a petro-
chemical company in Point Lisas.
In 1990, he joined Republic Bank to es-
tablish its bond trading division.
In 1995, he transferred to FINCOR, and
successfully took up the challenge to es-
tablish its Eastern Caribbean Office in
In 2000, he joined CL Financial and, in
2007, he was appointed CEO of Clico In-
vestment Bank (CIB). He resigned from
CIB in January 2009, which means that he
was the chief executive of CIB when the
company collapsed in January 2009.
By an order of the High Court dated Oc-
tober 17, 2011, Clico Investment Bank Lim-
ited (the company) was ordered to be
wound up and the Deposit Insurance Cor-
poration (DIC) was appointed liquidator.
Richard Trotman, former President of
the Clico Investment Bank (CIB) at the Sir
Anthony Colman Commission of Enquiry
(COE) into the collapse of Clico, CIB and CL
• October 26, 2012-Trotman a sub-
sidiary of CL Financial (CLF), said he did
not take steps as head of CIB to recover
outstanding loans made to former CLF ex-
ecutives Lawrence Duprey and Andre
Monteil totalling $173 million;
• December 3, 2012-Trotman appeared
before the commission in the afternoon
session but announced his desire not to
give evidence. Trotman said he was anx-
ious and disquieted by what had tran-
spired in the morning and asked to be re-
cused from answering questions (DPP had
asked Colman to change the way the en-
quiry was conducted). Trotman said he
would seek advice on the matter.
Colman told him he was a very impor-
tant witness and that he wanted to find
out as much as he could from him and
asked commission counsel, Peter Carter,
QC, if that was a viable way forward.
Carter suggested a list of questions could
be prepared for Trotman by Wednesday
afternoon which he could answer in writ-
ing. Colman said Trotman could answer all,
some or none.
The inquiry was postponed to a day to
be fixed since Trotman was scheduled to
give evidence and arrangements had to be
made to have another witness replace
• May 2, 2013-Trotman scheduled to
testify. Commission chairman Sir Anthony
Colman noted that Trotman gave a large
number of answers to the large number of
questions put to him in writing. Trotman
invited attorney Gerald Ramdeen to go
through the questions and the answers
and read both (question and answers) into
The report of the Colman COE on the
Clico, CIB and CL Financial matters is out-
standing as at January 22, 2015. . For over
12 years, he has been a course lecturer and
practicum supervisor in finance, account-
ing and entrepreneurship at the UWI
Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Busi-
In 2012, he formed Trinidad Chocolate
Factory Ltd to operate a sustainable bean-
to-bar cocoa and chocolate business using
fine-flavour beans from the West Indies. It
is a family business and it is an outgrowth
of his journey in the cocoa industry.
This journey began in 1998 as a cocoa
farmer when he acquired the Bocage Es-
tate in Victoria, Grenada.
Continued on Page 7
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