A new partnership agreement signed between Australian-funded Market Development Facility (MDF) and Paradise Foods Limited will see a boost in locally manufactured cocoa products.
The partnership will improve Paradise Foods Limited production capacity to produce a new range of processed alkalized cocoa products, giving it a darker colour and smoother flavour.
MDF will support Queen Emma Chocolate Company (Queen Emma), a subsidiary under Paradise Foods Limited with the expansion of its processing facility through procurement and installation of cocoa processing equipment that will be used in the set-up of the improved cocoa production line.
At the signing, MDF Country Director Sharif Islam said that with this support for downstream processing of cocoa products in Papua New Guinea (PNG) will benefit smallholder cocoa farmers.
“With this expansion in production of cocoa products, demand for more fermented cocoa beans from Queen Emma will increase, helping to support smallholder cocoa farmers and suppliers.” Sharif said.
The extension of the facility will enable Queen Emma to produce an additional 150 tons of processed cocoa products annually and increase their annual cocoa sourcing volumes by 300 metric tons of cocoa beans. An additional 4000 local farmers will benefit from this partnership.
Paradise Foods Limited Chief Executive Officer, James Rice said that the cocoa industry in PNG has steadily improved over the years and has great potential to compete internationally to produce the best cocoa products.
“Papua New Guinea produces some of the best cocoa beans in the world, and with support and expertise on proper farming techniques right up to processing, cocoa products in Papua New Guinea can be the best, even globally,” Rice said.
Traditionally, most agriculture commodities in PNG are exported as raw products, including cocoa. The manufacturing industry in PNG makes a relatively small contribution to the country’s economic development, however with partnerships like this, it can greatly contribute to the manufacturing industry to increase value-added PNG products to the global marketplace.
“We hope that through this partnership, outcomes and opportunities for Papua New Guineans including women will increase,” said Australian High Commission’s Acting Counsellor, Edward Wilkinson, who was also present. “Through the MDF and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA Plus) programs, Australia is supporting the agriculture sector in PNG to improve production and export at international markets to help strengthen the country’s economy.”
MDF is a multi-country initiative supported by the Australian Government to help farmers and workers, including women thrive in the agriculture sector.
Representatives from Paradise Foods Limited, MDF and DFAT at the new partnership signing.
For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100