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Thursday, 13 December 2018 11:05 am

Chocolate maker wants Kiwis to help poor Bougainville growers

Nov 4th, 2014 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Lead Story, News

New Zealand’s first bean-to0-bar shop open to the public is launching a fundraising campaign to support a small Bougainville cocoa farmer’s processing.

From the shop in the Hannahs Factory precinct, Wellington Chocolate Factory makes organic chocolate from beans sourced around the world.

Earlier this year co-founder Gabe Davidson travelled to the autonomous region of Bougainville, an island cluster off the coast of Papua New Guinea, on the hunt for a good quality cocoa bean.

There he found, James Rutana, who has been growing cocoa for 40 years, and together they devised a plan to bring his cocoa beans to New Zealand, to make chocolate that will showcase Bougainville as a world-class cocoa producing region.

Mr Davidson says they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to improve James’ cocoa processing facility, so he can produce higher quality cocoa beans which means they can pay a higher price for them.

If the Kickstarter is successful the Chocolate factory team will use a sailing boat to bring at least one ton of cocoa beans from Bougainville into Wellington Harbour which could produce up to 12 thousand chocolate bars.

Years of civil war ended with peace talks brokered by New Zealand in 1997, which lead to autonomy for the island, making this Kickstarter voyage significant.



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