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Chocolate producer inspires Cocoa Group


“This is a very inspiring occasion for me,” one cocoa grower testified at the Inaugural General Meeting (IGM) of the Cocoa Group, COPCO.{{more}}

The main platform speakers were the interim chairman of COPCO, Oscar Allen, who outlined farmer based history, principles and plans of COPCO, as well as the agencies which gave support to the organisation; Eric Reid, a cocoa and chocolate producer, who gave the meeting a new understanding of the cocoa industry; and Professor Leonard O’Garro, who made the meeting aware of the (UWI) University of the West Indies new centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurship, based at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados.

What inspired the meeting most was the heartwarming feature address of Eric Reid, chief executive officer and founder of SPAGnVOLA, an innovative cocoa growing and chocolate making company based in the USA. Along with Mrs Reid and Luzette King, a consultant with SPAGnVOLA, Reid spoke candidly and shared chocolate secrets with the COPCO inaugural general meeting.

Eric Reid SPAGnVOLA brand presents premium quality dark chocolate products, and has its own chocolate boutiques, including one which it supplies in Trinidad. Reid analysed for the meeting how the world chocolate industry actually disfigures cocoa and its food benefits when it uses only a small proportion of cocoa in the chocolate products it sells to the world, sometimes with as little as six per cent cocoa. Clearly, quality chocolate must have a larger input of cocoa and it is cocoa growers who will lead the way to a vital premium chocolate industry. The SPAGnVOLA executive also dispelled the idea that only big companies can get into the mysterious business of manufacturing and selling good cocoa products. He made the manufacture of chocolate and other cocoa products by a farmer based co-operative become a realistic and attractive proposal. The COPCO IGM was uplifted by what SPAGnVOLA’s Eric Reid and associates brought to its vision.