Kokopo to host PNG Chocolate Festival

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Papua New Guinea’s first ever cocoa of excellence show, ‘Cocoa Warwagira’, planned for later this week, will see international cocoa experts sampling a selection of Papua New Guinea’s best cocoa. The cocoa sample tasting is the highlight of the two-day event to be staged in Kokopo, East New Britain from May 25-27, 2017.

The purpose of the show is to find the best Papua New Guinea cocoa to represent the industry in the International Cocoa of Excellence show in Paris, France. It will identify and reward cocoa farmers in various categories such as best cocoa quality, best fermentary facility and best managed block.

Papua New Guinea has previously won a number of awards for its fine flavor cocoa with its plantation samples. For example, in 2015 a smallholder from the lower Watut farmers of Morobe was rated as one of the top five best cocoa beans in the world.

The show is organised by the PNG Cocoa Board and industry partners and is funded by the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (*PHAMA) Program and World Bank’s Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP).

The PHAMA Program, an Australian government initiative co-funded by the New Zealand government, is bringing over a team of international judges, so as to raise the profile of PNG cocoa and assist the local cocoa industry to meet market needs. The visiting cocoa experts are:

  • Nathaniel Bletter, co-founder and “Flavormeister” at Madre Chocolates in Hawaii,
  • Lynn Jahnke from Charleys Chocolates in Australia,
  • Luke Spencer from Spencer Chocolates – a bean-to-bar chocolate company whose chocolates were recently featured in the popular Australian show Better Homes and Gardens,
  • Sam Ratto from Videri Chocolates in the United States of America;
  • Martin Christy, founder of the chocolate review website, Seventy % and
  • David Peate, former general manager of Paradise Foods Ltd in PNG

“The participation of the expert judges is a great opportunity for market exposure, helps promote buyer linkages, and raises industry awareness on quality standards,” said PHAMA PNG Country Manager, Sidney Suma.

He said Cocoa Warwagira is an opportunity for the local industry to identify unique cocoa flavors and reward quality-conscious cocoa producers.

“Quality is an important industry issue. To increase income and returns for farmers and exporters, PHAMA is improving understanding of market opportunities in higher end boutique chocolate markets, facilitating linkages with buyers, and assisting producers to meet market requirements,” Mr Suma said.

For further information, contact Sidney Suma at or on +675 7640 3290

*The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program is an Australian Government initiative, co-funded by the New Zealand Government.  PHAMA is designed to help Pacific island countries better manage and utilise opportunities to export primary products including fish and forestry products. Australia and New Zealand are markets of major importance, along with export markets beyond the Pacific. The core countries assisted through PHAMA are Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. PHAMA is implemented on behalf of the Australian Government by AECOM.