Establishing a New (Cacao) Orchard Industry for Hawaii

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2007-33610-18481
Agency Tracking Number: 2006-00613
Amount: $342,826.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Great Pacific Chocolate Company, Inc.
78-6772 Makenawai Street, Kailua-Kona, HI, 96740
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Cooper
 (808) 322-2626
Business Contact
 Pamela Cooper
Phone: (808) 322-2626
Research Institution
Cacao trees grow and produce well in Hawaii but high costs and low international prices for beans would make it unprofitable if farmers had to sell at these prices. By establishing a small-scale chocolat d origin gourmet chocolate factory in Kona that produces a high-value product for a limited target market, we can pay prices for cocoa beans that are well above international market value - prices that can support local cacao farmers. Our goal is to provide a sufficiently large high-value market for locally produced cocoa beans, resulting in a new cacao industry in Kona. Phase I research allowed us to evaluate the existing potential production of cocoa beans among Konas 58 self-identified cacao farmers, evaluate our costs of production and test new packaging and an improved product. Phase II will use Phase I research to target bottlenecks in our production and marketing programs and allow research into whether a properly developed small-scale but high-value processing facility can support a sizable and growing agricultural industry in Hawaii. Cacao and its product, cocoa beans, are third-world products. Hawaii often finds itself competing with third-world produce, drastically limiting what local farmers can grow economically. However, Kona coffee has shown that third world products can be produced locally if quality and marketing are of high enough calibre. With cacao, we want to accomplish the same thing in 10 years that Kona coffee had over a century to develop: a high-quality, high-value, widely recognized market that can support local orchard production.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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