October 3, 2014
SVCC now buying cocoa in SVG

The St Vincent Cocoa Company (SVCC) is now buying cocoa in St Vincent and the Grenadines at a wet bean price of EC$1.36 a pound.

A release from the SVCC said this price is the equivalent of $3.40 dry bean price.{{more}}

The release said after Ecom Agrotrading Ltd, the owner of SVCC, decided to exit the business in July, most of the staff were made redundant and the Memorandum of Agreement that Ecom’s predecessor Armajaro Trading Ltd signed with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines was also cancelled.

“Ecom also passed over all plant material, control of the Orange Hill nursery and cocoa gene bank to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation (MAFF),” the release said.

“A month ago, I succeeded in finding some local and international investors to purchase the business (SVCC) and run it on a much scaled down basis. We are also very close to securing a long-term supply agreement with an international chocolate company which will give SVCC a firm basis from which to grow,” the release from Delphine Hadley of the SVCC said.

In addition to buying cocoa, the company, in conjuncture with the MAFF, is distributing all cocoa plants to farmers for free.

It is the aim of SVCC to provide the farmers with the best planting material, training in cocoa production and a guarantee buyer/market for their cocoa, the release said.