Economy October 14, 2016 | 8:00 am

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Dominican Cacao in London’s Chocolate Show 2016

London.– In a lush setting of tropical plantsand stunning landscape photography, Dominican cacao beans arrive for the firsttime to London’s Chocolate Show, together with the best cacao products from Dominicanand international chocolate makers.

Between 14-16 October, the Dominican Republicoccupies stand B14, a 64 Square meter exhibition space at the National Hall ofthe Olympia, to showcase a sample of its ample biodiversity—representing over70% of genetic resources in the cacao industry. This in spite of trading just4% of world cacao exports.

With funding from the Ministry of Agricultureand the National Cacao Commission, the stand displays seeds grown and fermentedby the top Dominican producers: Rizek, Roig and CONACADO, as well as cacaoproducts manufactured locally by Rizek, Xocolat, Cortés and Khao Caribe. Generoushelpings of Brugal rum and tourism materials are also available.

Another first will be the presence in thestand of award-winning bars manufactured by international chocolate makers,such as Hummingbird, which received the Gold Award to the best chocolate in theworld by the Academy of Chocolate in 2016.

“The Dominican Republic is small and fertile.40% of our lands are in protected natural parks. We will never compete onvolume so our focus is on quality and sustainability. Cacao is the one productthat embodies perfectly these fortunate policies, thus benefiting thousands ofsmallholders producing in cooperatives the best cacao in the world, the onethat meets the strictest of standards for both conventional and organicproduction”, said Ángel Estévez, Dominican Minister for Agriculture.

"The Dominican Republic’s cocoa sectorhas begun implementing a sustainable, value-added business model that biggerproducers around the world can learn from to protect their own livelihoods andguarantee the future of the global chocolate industry", said Dr Jean-MarcAnga, Executive-Director of the International Cacao Cooperation Organization(ICCO).

“We know that the most important work isthrough the farmers – without great cacao, there cannot be good chocolate. Moreimportantly, we are really, really happy to see Dominican cacao getting therecognition it deserves”, said Drew Gilmore, from the Canadian chocolate makerHummingbird.

“Thanks to the support of the Minister ofAgriculture and of our cacao producers, my team at the Dominican Embassy inLondon was able to put together this magnificent stand in record time—literallyless than a week. To have a presence for the best cacao in the world in themost demanding of markets is essential for positioning our products at thelevel it deserves”, said Ambassador Federico Cuello Camilo in London.

“May I thank all of those who made thispossible: to President Danilo Medina and Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas, forinsisting on a new diplomacy centered on trade and investment promotion; toÁngel Estévez, Minister of Agriculture, for his commitment to sustainableagricultural development and for ensuring the funding for this initiative; tomy cacao producers, for achieving the quality that makes us so proud; to theorganizers,

Kate Johns and Martin Christy, for accommodating so generously tothe needs of a small country with big ambitions; to Amelia Cocco, her familyand their business Tropifruit, whose seamless logistics for Dominican freshproduce exports to the UK allowed us to get our cacao products on time for theexhibit; and of course to Marlen Vásquez and our team at the Embassy for theirtireless and ultimately successful efforts,” concluded Ambassador CuelloCamilo.

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