Paradise Foods Signs MoU with FAO
To purchase cocoa in East and West Sepik provinces, Paradise Foods Limited signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
According to Paradise Foods chief executive officer James Rice, FAO will support about 10,000 farmers. “These farmers are getting seedlings that will grow to supply us,” he said.
Through its Queen Emma chocolate, the company sources its cocoa from more than 2,000 farmers in the country. Rice said that in the next year, a new K5 million chocolate factory would be constructed to cater for that growth.
“We need more farmers to supply our growth, and the FAO will work to educate farmers and improve quality. “We are not investing, we are agreeing to buy the farmer outputs, but the UN FAO is investing K340 million in the programme.”
As for Paradise’s two other projects, he said, “One is to double its business in the next five years and the other is to localise everything it bought. We want our chocolate business to be 20 times bigger so we need more supply of cocoa beans, the UN FAO is helping with that at the farmer level in Sepik. And next year they will help us market our chocolate to European and North American markets. They agree with us that Queen Emma Chocolate could be PNG’s first global brand, and we want to make that happen.”