Trinidad and Tobago is home to the award-winning fine/flavour cocoa which creates the potential for lucrative investments targeting high end chocolate markets. The opportunity exists for the development of bespoke chocolate and other cocoa-based manufacturing plants, using locally grown beans.
Trinidad and Tobago has been a fine-cocoa producing location for over 200 years and has the potential to meet an increasing global cocoa demand, especially as an input to gourmet foods, with continued rehabilitation of old cocoa estates and the creation of new ones. The country’s location, temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours lend themselves to a thriving cocoa industry. Some of the world’s most unique cocoa specimens within the Trinitario, Criollo and Forastero varieties, are indigenous to both islands.
The University of the West Indies’ Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) delivers research and development initiatives to encourage growth within the cocoa industry and create investment opportunities derived from the design and fabrication of technologies to process cocoa. The CRC is the custodian of The International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad which conserves the largest and most diverse collection of cacao trees in one location – close to 2300 accessions (plant/seed samples) are spread over approximately 90 acres of estate.
Recent research from the University of the West Indies’ Engineering Institute (2016) shows that a chocolate manufacturing plant is a lucrative investment opportunity to satisfy an increasing international demand for high value premium cocoa and chocolate products.
The project is being promoted based on the following criteria:
Given the potential for the development of innovative and creative products targeting lucrative markets, the investment can potentially yield an investment return in 4 years with an annual rate of return of between 15-30%. Locations recommended for chocolate manufacturing plants include Tamana InTech Park and the upcoming Moruga Agro-processing and Industrial Park.
There are significant advantages for investing in Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa industry: