News Releases

Cocoa Research Unit – “Train-the-Trainers Workshop”

For Release Upon Receipt - November 17, 2011

St. Augustine

The Cocoa Research Unit, UWI St. Augustine, will host a workshop entitled Caribbean Fine/Flavour Cocoa Commercialisation CAR-RFO: "Train-the-Trainers Workshop for Farmer Field Schools (FFS)" from November 21-23, 2011, at 8:30 am at the Institute for Critical Thinking on the St. Augustine Campus.

Senator the Honourable Vasant Bharath, Minister of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs will deliver the feature address at the workshop’s Opening Ceremony on Monday 21st November, at the Daaga Auditorium, UWI St. Augustine. Other speakers at the Opening Ceremony include, Prof. Pathmanathan Umaharan, Head, Cocoa Research Unit; Prof. Dyer Narinesingh, Dean, Faculty of Science & Agriculture; Prof. Clement Sankat, PVC and St. Augustine Campus Principal, and Ms. Kathrin Renner, Representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad & Tobago.

The workshop is part of the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) funded project, “Caribbean Fine/Flavour Cocoa Industry Commercialisation: CAR-RFO”. 

Farmers and other trained personnel from seven participating countries in the region will share best practices from the various territories and agree on a methodology for training cocoa farmers during the 3-day session.  It is envisaged, that the trained personnel, will conduct Farmer Field Schools in the participating countries, towards improving the production and quality of cocoa from the region. 

For further information on the workshop, contact the Cocoa Research Unit at 868-662-2002 ext. 83333 or at


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Background on the Project

Several Caribbean countries are involved in the production of fine and flavour cocoa that is traded in a niche market at premium prices of approximately twice the market price of bulk cocoa.  Fine or flavour cocoa accounts for 5% of the total global cocoa production annually and is sought after by the manufacturers of dark chocolates and other highly priced speciality products.  Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are recognised by the International Cocoa and Coffee Organisation (ICCO) as producing 100% of “fine and flavour cocoa” while the Dominican Republic produces 40% of fine and flavour cocoa, but may be upgraded to 60 - 75% in the near future. Significant injection of financial and human resource investments by the private sector and policy support by the relevant Governments are required for the industry to reach its full potential.

The Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) is an ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific)/European Union (EU) joint institution created to support the development of the private sector in ACP countries (Website: The overall goal of this project is to address the challenges faced by fine/flavour cocoa producers in the Caribbean, particularly those of declining production and low productivity as well as food safety and other quality concerns. In addition, the project will promote the development of value-added products and agri-tourism associated with cocoa production in the region.  The participating countries are Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Cocoa Research Unit (CRU) was selected as the lead consultant for the initial step of the project “Communication, Mobilisation and Institutional Strengthening” involving the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour Le Développement (CIRAD) and the seven stakeholder Caribbean countries. 


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.

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