The ‘Wellington Chocolate Voyage’ saw a tonne of high grade cocoa beans from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville transported by sail boat to Wellington, New Zealand. The twenty-nine day voyage on the Uto was made possible by the backing from almost 500 donors through a kick-starter campaign which commenced in November, 2014.
Co-founders of the Wellington Chocolate Factory, Gabe Davidson and Rochelle Harrison, raised $37,272 NZD. All the money raised was used to purchase one tonne of the high quality cocoa beans, at a fair price.
Additionally, the money helped purchase equipment to assist James Rutana, a local legend that helped build the Bougainville cocoa industry, and the owner of the cocoa plantation that sourced the beans, which were purchased.
What was produced at the end of the voyage was the ‘Bougainville Bar’; and has just gone on sale in New Zealand. The bright purple packaging and picturesque designs are instantly appealing on the eye.
Rochelle Harrison told Business Advantage PNG that “most of the first batch of the’Bougainville Bar’has already been pre-sold to crowd sourcing donors and plans are underway to bring more cocoa from Bougainville.”
Every person that backed the kick-starter campaign received the finished product and the remainder of which is currently being sold in the Wellington Chocolate Factory.
The whole objective behind the voyage was to source Pacific grown cocoa, encourage farmers to grow the highest quality crops and paying them a premium price for their efforts.
As well as promoting a low-carbon alternative by transporting the cocoa beans by sail boat.
The Wellington Chocolate Voyage, has provided assistance to James Rutana, and of course is supporting a nation that has experienced a decade of civil war by helping in the development of its economy and future.
Check out the Wellington Chocolate Factory Facebook page for more information.