News Releases

World Cocoa and Chocolate Day celebrations

For Release Upon Receipt - September 21, 2018

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. September 21, 2018 – On September 28 and 29, The UWI’s Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) will commemorate World Cocoa and Chocolate Day (WCCD) 2018 with a gala expo at The UWI Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC). Now in its 7th year, the celebrations grew out of a small display in the lobby of the Sir Frank Stockdale Building in the Faculty of Food and Agriculture to a full-fledged expo, which has been held for the past five years at the JFK Auditorium. This year, for the first time, WCCD will open its doors at the expansive UWI SPEC facility.

“We aim, with this year’s expo, to create public awareness and increase support and pride, as we help to foster a new cocoa economy, an economy based on value addition, branding, niche marketing and one which seeks to attract investments and an expansion of the industry”, says CRC Director, Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan.

Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, will speak at the Opening Ceremony before the expo. 

The expo showcases the combined efforts of the private sector – including local chocolatiers, cocoa farmers, farmer groups, processors, agro-tourism operators, and manufacturers of soap and cosmetics – and governmental organisations, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and the Ministry of Tourism.

The CRC will host its annual Innovations in Chocolate Cuisine competition which will see contestants vie for winner’s row in the savoury, sweet and drinks categories. Included in this year’s celebration is a fashion show and kids’ cuisine competition by the 4H club, organised by the Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (CDCTTL). 

World Cocoa and Chocolate Day 7 will feature:

  • Workshop sessions on cocoa farming, cocoa pest and disease management and how to improve flavour and quality of the cocoa beans/chocolate you produce.
  • Displays highlighting the work of the Cocoa Research Centre, creative efforts of local entrepreneurs and researchers, and information on best practices and technologies on offer.
  • A chocolate food fest featuring the best of chocolate-based cuisines and confectioneries including Cocoa Tea by CRC, as well as a chocolate fountain with the opportunity to sample chocolate-covered food items at a nominal cost.
  • The "Innovations in Chocolate Cuisine: A Food and Beverage Challenge": a competition fostering innovative ways to use cocoa/chocolate in food
  • Opportunities to win prizes for participating in various floor events such as balance the cocoa pod on the Head race, chocolate muffin eating competition and lots of other fun activities.
  • Opportunities to win beautiful hand-crafted artwork by local artists.
  • Cocoa and Chocolate Inspiration from Abroad – a new exhibit of innovative products from abroad made with cocoa/chocolate.

The expo opens to the public on Friday September 28 with a cocoa dance and cultural performance at 10:30am and runs till to 6:00pm. It will reopen from 9:30am to 5:00pm on Saturday 29 September. Expect a bubbling two days of tastings, chatting, discovery and learning about all things cocoa and chocolate. General admission is priced at $10. Children or UWI students (with ID) will enter for $5.

For more information on World Cocoa and Chocolate Day, please contact any member of the organising committee at 662-8788 or via email at or send a message via the Facebook page or the event page: and follow the hashtag #WCC7 across all social platforms.




About World Cocoa and Chocolate Day

Celebrated on October 1st every year, World Cocoa and Chocolate Day was first recognised as Cocoa Day by The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), the global representative body of cocoa producers, in recognition of the efforts of millions of smallholder farmers who supply over three million tonnes of cocoa each year to be made into one of the most revered food items worldwide, chocolate. In addition, the Académie Française du Chocolat et de la Confiserie (French Chocolate and Confectionery Academy) mandated that October 1st be designated World Cocoa and Chocolate Day in remembrance of the living conditions of cocoa growers the world over and to create awareness of the need for a long-term self-sustained cocoa economy. This day is dedicated to: VALUE the work of small planters from cocoa-producing countries; INCREASE connections and synergies between all the cocoa industry’s stakeholders; RAISE consumers’ AWARENESS about the provenance and the manufacturing conditions of chocolate, according to the company, Salon des Chocolatiers.


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 full-fledged, regional university with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such overarching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


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