The Ondo State government said its Cocoa Revolution Project has won the Chocolate Silver Awards at the just concluded 7th edition of the annual Academy of Chocolate Award, held at the Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly, London.
The Commissioner for Information in the state, Kayode Akinmade, who disclosed this on Thursday, in a statement issued to journalists in Akure, the state capital, said the product received a great boost by clinching the deserved award.
Akinmade said the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who was represented at the ceremony by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Ademola Olorunfemi, attracted all major Cocoa/chocolate and Confectionery industry stakeholders across the globe.
He noted that Ondo state was mentioned at the ceremony as the only Chocolate award winner from West Africa that produces 75% of global Cocoa Bean output.
Akinmade, also revealed that a Washington DC based outfit, SPAGnVOLA, had earlier in the year presented the Ondo chocolate bar for the competition which has fetched the state a silver.
Earlier in the day, the Chairman of the State Cocoa Revolution Implantation Committee, Jibayo Oyebade, said cocoa produced in the state for chocolate production had received world certification and recognition.
Oyebade added that the product had already been presented to the partnering firm overseas, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate firm in Netherland.
“We taught our Coca farmers on how to improve the quality of their Cocoa through proper fermentation.
“Our partners have taken our sample, and are satisfied with it. I am proud that our effort has yielded good results. We want to reproduce chocolate from our own cocoa”, he said
According to him, only three hundred kilogrammes of the product was sent as sample adding that the state would increase production and establish a chocolate academy and factory.
The Chairman, however, said the coca was first processed at the demonstration site in the state’s cocoa plantation at Oda, Akure South Local Government Area of the state.
He added that a lot of efforts were made to ensure that the certification was achieved stressing that an improvement on the quality of the product would help enhance its price at the international market.