Sweet love: Partnership with SA premium chocolate brand to support Vanuatu farmers

South Australian premium chocolate manufacturer Haigh’s Chocolates and Global Food Studies researchers Professor Randy Stringer and Mr Craig Johns are working with Vanuatu farmers to improve the quality of their cocoa beans and increase their livelihoods. This program is part of Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI), which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR).

As reported by ACIAR (article Champions for chocolate – smallholder cocoa farmers linked to high-end chocolate makers), Haigh’s is one of the three partners supporting the project. The two other partners are Bahen & Co. (in Margaret River, Western Australia), and United States (San Francisco)-based Guittard.

These companies assist the farmers by assessing the quality of cocoa bean and provide recommendations how farmers can improve the quality so that they can meet industry standards and receive premium prices.

Professor Stringer explained to the INDAILY:

“With Cadbury’s paying the farmers $1.25 per kilo, Vanuatu farmers can triple their profit by producing a higher quality single-variety bean earning $6 to $8 per kilo from Haigh’s.”

The partnership between the university researchers, Australian private sector and smallholders in developing countries is another successful story about the importance of Research and Development in agriculture.

The University of Adelaide’ Adelaide Research Innovation (ARI) is currently preparing to publish this story in a book called “Adelaide Advancing – 30 clever achievements from a progressive city”. It is part of the ARI’s 30th birthday celebrations where 30 cases studies from the University’s researchers will be featured.

ARI’s Marketing Manager Renee Hakendorf explained that the book aims to promote:

“Adelaide as a hub of innovation and research expertise, contributing to the national agenda.”

The book is expected to be released in July 2014. Online pre-order form will be available at ARI’s website from Monday, 16 June 2014.


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