Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2014 Contents MAY 2014 • WEEK FIVE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
way, they are stored in the right way, they are trans-
ported in the right way. When the beans are trans-
ported with moisture, it becomes moldy and the
entire bag becomes contaminated."
Stimulating local chocolatiers
The company would not only deepen its footprint
internationally, but plans to stimulate the local
"We ll never get to the objective, which is to
increase our cocoa presence internationally, if we
don t make the domestic market interested in it.
if you don t encourage people to get involved in it.
I would love to see more and more local level choco-
latiers getting into it because then they would be
inclined to acquire smaller estates and grow the
cocoa themselves. I can t think of anything more
spectacular than that; growing your own chocolate,"
Explaining the purpose of the MoU, he said it
is for the ministry to provide technical expertise
and the company would provide market processing
expertise. TTFCCL would be working closely with
the ministry on creating "the right sort of conditions
to make this work."
The entire operation involves a multi-stakeholder
process. The goal of TTFCCL is to "go from bean
to bar. No assumptions should be made. Just because
you produce a bean to bar here doesn t mean it
sells there (UK). What we are trying to do is to
demonstrate there is a market presence. You can t
assume because T&T has famous beans that it
automatically sells fast. That s dangerous."
Working with experts in processing chocolates
is one thing the company plans to do.
"The conversion of liquor to chocolate is actually
very technical and the type of equipment you have
and the process you use affect the outcome of the
chocolate. No estate is going to get the best price
without improving their standard."
Though talks are ongoing, TTFCCL plans to
partner with various estates in T&T. Parasram said
the estates range in size from ten hectares to 150
"It is not an exclusive club. If anyone wants to
get involved, they can do so. If anyone who is grow-
ing cocoa wants to get involved, they can get
involved. Even if we don t buy the cocoa liquor
ourselves or market the chocolate ourselves, we
would be happy to provide the advice as to where
those markets are," he said.
Industry has shrunk
"The local cocoa industry has shrunk over the
last two decades in terms of number of farmers
(from 3,000 to 1,500) and bean production output
(3,000 metric tonnes to under 1,000 metric tonnes).
However, the potential for growth is quite good
and still very relevant in a world where demand
is soaring for cocoa and producer countries supply
chains are enormously challenged from climate
changes, pest and diseases and marginalised farmers
who derive very little of the value from this precious
"The beans from T&T are fine or flavour cocoa
(FFC) versus bulk cocoa, which constitutes 95 per
cent of the world production. Our reputation and
heritage have maintained a worldwide presence
and FFC captures a premium price.
"Many young business entrepreneurs are entering
the industry, not only to grow cocoa, but to enjoy
the value in processing the beans into a range of
high-price-based chocolate products."
About Ashley Parasram
The Pointe-a-Pierre resident said his
parents and grandparents were also in-
volved in the cocoa sector. He attended
the London University and the Edin-
burgh University, where he studied en-
vironmental sciences and natural
resource management. He was em-
ployed with the European Commission
working on environmental trade policy
and the UK government. He worked in
Indonesia at the Centre for Interna-
tional Forestry Research. He also
worked in Eastern Finland with the Eu-
rpean Forest Institute.
By the age of 16 years, he travelled to
every capital city in Europe and re-
turned to T&T in 2013.
"What I miss especially when I am
going back to Europe, is the sun every-
day. I am never bored by watching the
sunrise and sunset and watching the
moon. When you are 11 degrees north
of the equator, your enjoyment of the
sun and the moon is beautiful."
The 40-year-old said his inspiration
for the chocolate project is his parents.
Asked what is his favourite dish, he
said, "I have a weakness for goat roti,
but that's fattening. I have to keep fit, I
have to exercise. I enjoy having friends
from Europe come here and I show
them the food," he said. "I love selling
From Page 6
Company aims to go from 'bean to bar'
Links Archive May 28th 2014 May 30th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page