Caribbean chocolate expo opens in Jamaica

THE SECOND annual Caribbean Fine Cocoa conference and Chocolate Expo will be held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, Rose Hall, St James, September 15 and 16, under the theme, ‘Investing in Fine Cocoa and its Value Chain,’ Jamaica’s Gleaner reports. “The conference thesis is in keeping with topical trends in cocoa sweeping the globe, including the Caribbean,” said Vernon Barrett, project manager of the Caribbean Fine Cocoa Forum (CFCF).

Two regional agricultural ministers, Robert Montague and Senator Vasant Bharath of the Ministry of Food Production, Trinidad & Tobago, are slated to deliver keynote addresses at the opening session on September 15.

Barrett said several papers and presentations from representatives of six countries in the Caribbean region will be made to the more than 150 delegates expected to attend the deliberations, from Belize, Costa Rica, Grenada, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Trinidad & Tobago.

The project manager pointed out that, “The rehabilitation of cocoa estates, adding value to the cocoa sector and premium quality export compliance are some topics of importance that will be highlighted at the two-day conference.”

Professor Denise Thompson, CFCF project director, also noted that, “There are many exciting changes occurring in the fine cocoa sector globally.” She explained that, “It is important that we take a proactive lead in understanding and responding to them, because they provide cocoa-producing countries with commercial opportunities to capitalise on, to the benefit of both the agricultural and industrial sectors.”

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