Solomon Islands has gone through a rich, diverse, at some points difficult and beautiful evolution and now it is time for it to take its place on the world stage in the international boutique cocoa arena.
Solomon Islands first received the cocoa plant in 1958. In 1960 the first three tonnes of Solomon cocoa was sold and since then it has become one of Solomon Islands biggest exports.
The tradition has been to supply smoke-dried cocoa to the bulk market but this practice is rapidly changing as Solomon Islands is increasingly recognised for its potential in growing fine boutique cocoa. Cathliro is leading the way in this for the entire country.
Cathliro Founder Mrs. Dianna Yates
Diana has in the last year, with the support of Strongim Bisnis, built a new facility in Honiara for fermenting and sun-drying boutique cocoa beans, with a capacity of 70 tonnes and the plan to expand to 120 tonnes in the next two years.
Diana also took the brave step in starting to explore value-adding cocoa. Up until this point, all cocoa consumed in a land so abundant in growing it, was imported.
Diana created the first Solomon Island cocoa powder and baking chocolate to replace imports.
Her passion has also extended to training the cocoa families in her care, in how to do their own value-adding, making their own Milo, cocoa nibs and baking chocolate, all without specialty tools or power.
Recently Diana was featured in the international magazine ‘Cacao’. Diana is an ambassador for the women of Solomon Islands and a voice for the cocoa famers, leading her country into the next era of boutique cocoa farming that supports village life in a real way.
Sir. Tommy Chan
Sir Chan is the husband of Diana and a member of the Cathliro team.
The full team consists of five full-time staff, led by Joyce in the wet bean buying, fermenting and sun-drying, a further team of three full-time staff in value-adding production led by Sharon, as well as Ejoma in administration and Shirley in sales.