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JIS News

Plans are in gear to introduce a chocolate bar which, when dissolved in water, produces the traditional Jamaican chocolate tea.
Speaking with JIS News, Secretary Manager of the Cocoa Industry Board, Naburn Nelson, disclosed that the bar will be made from the traditional cocoa beans, which have been processed for modern convenience.
“You will get a bar of the chocolate and drop it in a cup of hot water, stir and you get the chocolate tea,” he explained.
He said his organization is working on marketing the product and support has been garnered from the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton.
The chocolate bar will be marketed locally and internationally and will satisfy the needs of all consumers because of its dual purpose. “This product will go across all age groups. The mature consumers normally want their hot tea while the children on the other hand will want their chocolate bar to eat,” Mr. Nelson pointed out.
According to Mr. Nelson, test samples have already been sent to countries such as Canada and the United States and the positive responses have been overwhelming. “The number of calls that we have been getting from persons enquiring about when the product will be available for export has been awesome,” he told JIS News.
He further indicated that the product will not only be marketed as a dissolvable bar but also as a health product. “Cocoa, especially our dark chocolate, contains some of the highest qualities in terms of anti-aging products,” the Secretary Manager noted.
Meanwhile, he revealed that the organization will be upgrading one of its factories in St. Mary to become a tour site for lovers of the Jamaican cocoa and its by-products, and persons who are interested in seeing how the cocoa beans are processed.
The main cocoa producing parishes are St. Mary, St. Catherine, Clarendon, and St. Thomas. Farmers in western parishes such as St. Elizabeth, St. James, Westmoreland, and parts of Trelawny also produce the crop.
For the crop year, which commenced in October 2006 and ended in September of this year, the industry contributed some $170 million to the island’s economy.