Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, September 21, 2015
6.1000 6.2239 6.3733
4.5409 4.7799 5.0428
9.1929 9.6767 10.3111
6.7528 7.1082 7.5418
****** 0.0522 0.0553
2.0984 2.2809 2.4406
* 2.5519 ****** 3.2507
for SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2015
My name is Clement Olando Bobb and
I am the chairman-founder and president
of the Tobago Cocoa Farmers Association.
My father tried to name me "Orlander"
and, thank god, it was misspelt on the
birth certificate. So I ended up with "Olan-
do". I named my chocolate brand after it.
Most people call me Clement.
I m from Calder Hall, almost suburbia.
If such a thing exists in Tobago.
I went to England, to study Business
Admin and Manufacturing & Technology
Management. And now I m back here.
Bishop s was the best school at the time
I went. It s a little bit diluted now. I never
liked school. Considered it a total waste of
time. I was interested in making things
and there was no outlet for that energy.
still did well [at school].
I listen to music while I m making
chocolate, mostly local radio, mostly vin-
tage calypso. Never Radio Tambrin! I95FM
and, on weekends, 91.1 for Short Pants
vintage Saturday, culture talk and Kaiso
Cafe on Sundays.
Boy days in Calder Hall, we were always
outside. My niece and nephew sit all day
with these electronic things. They re in
Tobago on holidays and all they do is watch
Disney Channel. You have to actually send
I don t have a family myself. Not for
want of trying. Just never made the
"click". Like Tony Harford, I never "passed
. I used to listen to his station
a lot. Fantastic music!
TV is my relaxation. Just movies, the
older ones. The modern day ones are non-
I m not a social butterfly. Little more
again and I ll probably be a recluse! I ll
probably be Rip Van Winkle pretty soon.
I live on ten acres and started clearing
land to grow cocoa last year. But The dry
season was so harsh and so long, I had
to push the plans back. You don t need to
plant cocoa on hills, as was the thinking
of the time [of Trinidad s first cocoa boom].
You can get a microclimate just by planting
buffer trees. You can basically plant cocoa
anywhere where dark soils are deep and
the water table is high.
The cocoa farmers group has rehabil-
itated 16 farms so far, varying in size from
a hectare to 1.5 hectares. Eventually, hope-
fully, we ll be the new cocoa millionaires
[like the earlier Woodbrook ones]. But we
don t intend to export beans; we intend to
export dark chocolate bars.
I ve been president of the association
since it started about eight years ago. It s
vibrant. We got a lot of grant funding, so
when people turn up for meetings and pay
their dues, they actually get resources. We
got a lot of technical assistance from the
Ministry [of Agriculture] and the university, Dr Darin
Sukha and the Cocoa Research Unit. We were the
first TT community group to win an international
award for flavour, the Cocoa of Excellence Award at
the Salon du Chocolat in Paris in 2011.
I ve been making dark chocolate, 70 per cent
cocoa solids, for over nine years now. When I hit
[age] 40, I started searching for something to do
other than teach people how to manufacture. One
day, listening to the radio, I heard [George] Umbala
[Joseph] say he would follow the men on the estate
as a child and pick up the pods. It clicked in my
head: "But nobody makes chocolate here!" So I started
doing the research, bought some small machinery
and started experimenting. And it turned into a busi-
You try to optimise the flavour. And hope people
will like it. Over the years, I ve been tweaking the
roast profiles. And today, people like it.
The best thing about being president is under-
standing tobago people. They have their own mind-
set. I just leave them to make their own decisions
about what they want to do, really. The worst thing
is they go to the beat of their own drum so, many
a times, they frustrate you sometimes; but they re
a good bunch of guys.
A lot of Tobagonians might be resentful of Trinis
moving to Tobago. But that s due to illiteracy, I think.
A Tobagonian is somebody whose roots are here
for probably two or three generations. I trace mine
three generations back.
I lived abroad for seven years and couldn t wait
to get back here. And, since I got back, have never
left. Trinidad and Tobago is home.
• Read a longer version of this feature at
as told to BC Pires
TRINI TO D BONE
Clement Olando Bobb
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