BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE delicious and unique flavours of Solomon Islands chocolate will be showcased at SolChoc (Solomon Islands Cocoa and Chocolate Festival) a fun and festive event, which is set to be launched today.
SolChoc, the annual festival to support the local cocoa sector will be held in Honiara from April 30 to May 5 with industry specific events in the first half of the week, and events for the public will held from May 3 – 6.
SolChoc spokesperson and Strongim Bisnis Coconut Business Advisor, Brown Onahekeni said, “This is the first year a programme of public events will be offered alongside the annual cocoa competition which is very exciting.
“Profits from the events will be channeled back into supporting local farmers and the cocoa sector, which is showing increasing economic promise with more than 22 of rural households involved in cocoa here and a rising global demand for chocolate.”
Outline of the SolChoc public events include, Interactive Chocolate Tasting on May 3 at the Coral Sea Resort with free chocolate tasting, free entrance and live music (only paid for ice-cold glass of yellowtail NV sparkling at $30).
On May 4 will be the masquerade Cocktail Party, fundraiser for the development of the Solomon Islands cocoa industry at the Honiara Hotel with an evening of fun and festivities including entertainment, canapes, cocktails, dancing and a live auction – tickets $60.
May 5, celebrating chocolate at the SolChoc Fair for all the family at the Heritage Park Hotel, car park from 10am to 3pm, it’s a free event.
Silver Screen Chocolate Cinema will be on May 6 at the Coral Sea Resort.
Event organisers encourage families to bring kids along to see the family-favourite film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and back it up with the French village set, romantic, comedy-drama, Chocolate.
CEMA’s Chief Produce Inspector, Patterson Siliota said the one-week SolChoc Festival will showcase Solomon Islands cocoa to boutique and fine flavor chocolate-makers and cocoa and bulk buyers from the UK and the region.
Strongim Bisnis, funded by the Australian Government, is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA), the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), the Pacific and horticultural Market Access Program (PHAMA), the Rural Development Program (RDP) and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to bring SolChoc to Honiara.
The cocoa sector is one of three sectors Strongim Bisnis supports as part of efforts by the Australian Government to help Solomon Islands with its economic development – thus prosperity.