News Releases

UWI’s Cocoa Research Unit shares the Spirit of Chocolate

For Release Upon Receipt - July 25, 2012

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – This year, the Cocoa Research Unit of The University of the West Indies (UWI) turns 50, and has planned a series of celebrations, beginning with the Spirit of Chocolate Festival which took place on Saturday 21st July, 2012, at the Hilton Trinidad’s Ballroom. 

This exclusive event was aimed at raising public awareness of the commercial value of Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa and industry and its potential to globally reposition the country as custodian of all things fine when it comes to cocoa and chocolate products.  

The festival began with an exhibition of the CRU’s research in cocoa and sampling of the chocolates created by chocolatiers who work with the Unit. Following a welcome by Professor Dyer Narinesingh, Acting Campus Principal and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture, and remarks by Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan, CRU’s Director, the Honourable Jairam Seemungal, Minister in the Ministry of Food Production delivered the feature address.  

Guests were then treated to a presentation and tasting led by World Chocolate Ambassador and Belgian chocolatier, Chef Bart Van Cauwenberghe. The tasting included five meat or vegetable dishes, each using T&T’s fine flavour cocoa beans paired with one of a variety of spirits, either wine, rum or beer – also among T&T’s finest. 

The oldest of its kind in the world, the CRU’s beginnings go back to 1930 when it was called the Cocoa Research Scheme and part of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture. During its 82 years of research, conservation and outreach the CRU acquired the world’s largest collection of cocoa germplasm, the International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad.  

For further information, please contact the CRU at 662-2002 ext. 82115 or via email at  

View photos from this event on The UWI’s Flickr page. 

For the latest UWI News, click

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