Vanuatu’s Aelan Chocolate is made in beautiful setting

Aelan are Vanuatu’s original chocolate makers producing fine dark chocolate using only cocoa beans sourced from local cocoa growers.  They are part of Vanuatu’s team of four companies attending the Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) NZ Pacific Path to Market delegation for Pasifika Festival on 25-26 in Auckland’s Western Springs.

Situated in an idyllic garden at the ACTIV Association Centre, in the Stella Mare subdivision at the second Lagoon, the factory is a 15-minute drive from Port Vila. The serene environment with tropical wooden structures, beautiful exotic blooms and delicious fruit is the place where the magic takes place and the chocolate is manufactured. The hand crafted artisanal chocolate uses just cocoa beans and sugar.

Aelean Company Director Sandrine Wallez said they are hoping to promote their products to the New Zealand audience and either open up a market for their products or find distributors for each of their products.

But the visit will also be a learning opportunity to find out more on New Zealand’s requirements for market entry.

“It is a real opportunity for us as a small business in Vanuatu to be able to attend such an event like the Pasifika festival and to meet with businesses interested in working with the Pacific islands. It is a huge investment on our side and to make sure we make the right connections with the right person,” she said. The company has a staff of nine.

Aelan Chocolate comes in three distinctive island flavours and is sold from the Island Shop and selected retailers in Port Vila. The cocoa product range includes cocoa nibs, cocoa husks, virgin coconut oil and are also proposing handicraft products. One of the aims of the company is to assist small-scale producers to improve the quality of their cocoa beans and then reaping a higher return.

There is a shop at the ACTIV Association Centre, stocking local handicrafts, carvings, spices, coffee, honey, cocoa and coconut products. The handicrafts and produce are all locally sourced and range from woven baskets and mats to wooden carvings, jewellery, hats, shells and sea glass.

Aelan is also producing Virgin Coconut Oil at its new processing facility where local villagers are hired to process coconut oil and coconut crumbs. There are also regular tours conducted around the facility allowing people to see how the oil is produced.

For more information on the Aelan Chocolate Chocolate Makers please contact Ian Furlong, PT&I Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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