Dominican cocoa farmer in top 18 at International Chocolate competition

by: Dominica Vibes News - December 4, 2017
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Stewart Paris from Marigot

Stewart Paris, a local cocoa farmer from Marigot, whose sample was among two from Dominica chosen as the top 50 was selected in the top eighteen.

Speaking to Dominica Vibes on Monday 4 December 2017, Theodora Anthony-Williams Crop Development Officer at the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA), said the Cocoa of Excellent Programme which Mr. Paris partook in is organized by Biodiversity International and International Cocoa Award, and takes place every two years.

“Last year we were asked to participate, we participated in that competition for the first time, this year and sample was submitted in February. Dominica was asked to submit three samples and three samples were submitted one from an estate Shillingford Estate and two farmers Dorina Mason from Kalinago Territory and Mr Stewart Paris from Marigot who is also part of the cocoa farmers’ cooperative in the north east. Forty countries submitted samples and in all one hundred and sixty-six samples were received,” she said.

The samples which were sent were submitted to France to be evaluated by researcher chocolatiers who looked at different parameters ensuring that it would be suitable to be part of another round of competition.

Out of the three samples submitted from Dominica, she said, two were successful, Mr. Stewart and Miss Mason, in acquiring a position in the top fifty.

“These two samples were processed, tempered and molded into chocolate and there was a panel of forty-one chocolate professionals and cocoa enthusiast, business people, concours of chocolate. They sampled and evaluated the chocolate what we call sensory the cocoa that have different flavour and that would be of interest to persons who want to do chocolate or other confectionery products and Mr Stewart again emerged in the top eighteen,” Anthony- Williams explained.

His sample was in the Central America and Caribbean category from which Martinique and Dominica were selected.

She further expressed elation on behalf of DEXIA and the Ministry of Agriculture for a local sample reaching this far in the competition.

“This gives our farmers great hope for the cocoa sector and agriculture, it shows that our product is well on the way to achieve great height because after this competition researchers and persons are interested in producing different cocoa products would be looking at Dominica to receive samples or volumes of cocoa to produce cocoa products,’ she said.

Anthony-Williams added that this will provide the avenue for a niche market for some cocoa products.