News Releases

Cocoa Research Centre Invites Public to World Cocoa and Chocolate Day Expo

For Release Upon Receipt - September 22, 2015

St. Augustine

St Augustine Tuesday, 22 September 2015 – Mark your calendar. Oct 1 is the sweetest day of the year. A day to indulge in all things Cocoa and Chocolate is not just a chocolate lover’s fantasy. On October 1, 2015, the Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) at The University of the West Indies celebrates World Cocoa and Chocolate Day with a public expo. World Cocoa and Chocolate Day is an annual day of recognition created by the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO).  Local producers of cocoa and chocolate products will showcase their goods alongside farmers and agro tourism operators, government organisations and others in the non-governmental sector. The expo takes place at the JFK Auditorium at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

World Cocoa and Chocolate Day was established by the ICCO back in 2008 to draw public attention to the contribution of cocoa producers in the chocolate industry chain. The CRC’s 2015 celebration of World Cocoa and Chocolate Day however takes on a new meaning.  Visitors can expect a variety of chocolate-based cuisines and confectioneries for sampling and purchase, games and activities for kids, presentations of the local cocoa story, research findings and information on best practices and technologies in cocoa production. The highlight of the event will be the judging of a food and beverage challenge: Innovations in Chocolate Cuisine aimed at promoting innovative chocolate recipes. There will also be the opportunity to register for tours to the world's largest single collection of cocoa: the CRC’s International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad (ICGT) as well as to register for chocolate-making courses.

According to Director of the CRC, Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan, “The idea is to bring together all the stakeholders of the local cocoa industry, to attract investment for an expansion of the industry as well excite the public and gather support and pride in building a new cocoa economy based on value addition, branding, and niche marketing.” He added, “We expect the yearly celebration to also bring greater coherence among all stakeholders in their efforts and usher in greater energy, enthusiasm and efficiency as we modernize this once great industry”.

For more information on World Cocoa and Chocolate Day and the Innovations in Chocolate Cuisine challenge, please contact the Cocoa Research Centre at or or call (868) 662-8788.

About the Cocoa Research Centre

The Cocoa Research Centre at The University of the West Indies has a legacy which goes back 85 years. It was first established as a Cocoa Research Scheme of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) in 1930 and evolved over the years, becoming the Cocoa Research Centre during the campus’ 50th Anniversary year. It is custodian of the International Cocoa Genebank, internationally regarded as the largest and most diverse collection of cocoa varieties. The Centre engages in outreach activities (technical assistance, consultancy, training workshops) nationally, regionally and internationally and offers technical assistance in the form of farmer field schools and food safety services to six countries in the Caribbean (Belize, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago).

See for more

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. The UWI’s faculty and students come from more than 40 countries and The University has collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)