October 24, 2014
Major cocoa assets left by previous company belong to Government – Hadley

The General Manager of the new St Vincent Cocoa Company (SVGCC) says that the major assets left here by the previous owners of the company were passed over to the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Andrew Hadley said the gene banks and nursery, and over 160,000 plantlets, were given to the Government, who he believes, intends to continue the cocoa industry.

“There was some discussion about assets, for example, making sure that the gene bank at Orange Hill is passed over to the Government, that all planting material, as left by Ecom.

“The vehicles belong to the company itself and we bought the company from Ecom,” Hadley said on Wednesday during a press conference at the company headquarters in Frenches.

Hadley said that his company is working with the Government to assist in the nurturing and distribution of the cocoa, in an effort to reestablish the cocoa industry.

The plants are being distributed for free.

Hadley also indicated that his company has no affiliation with the recently established St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocoa Producers Cooperative Society, but said that the SVCC was willing to work along with anyone in the best interest of the industry.

“I’ve said to everyone here in St Vincent, including the cooperatives who I’ve talked to personally, that this is a Vincentian project…. The St Vincent Cocoa Company is putting money into grafting the plants and producing the plants for the farmers… so I’ve said to them why don’t you come to Dickson, we will train you on how to graft and how to produce planting material properly, and that invitation is open to anybody, especially the cooperatives.

“We are quite willing and able to share all information with everybody, because the whole point is this: we have to try as a country to grow as much cocoa as possible. So it shouldn’t be a them and us thing; it is all of us together trying to persuade farmers to grow cocoa.”

The SVG Cocoa Producers Cooperative was officially established in August this year, one month after the Ecom closed the doors of the old SVCC.(JJ)