KOTA KINABALU (June 22): The government has urged Malaysian cocoa entrepreneurs to step up their activities to promote the brand of their chocolate products in the local community.
Deputy Minister for Industries and Plantation Products, Datuk Willie Mongin, said while there are many premium and quality chocolates produced by Malaysian cocoa entrepreneurs, there are still many consumers locals who do not know the brands on the market.
“In fact, we have produced many premium chocolates in Sarawak, such as Chelum and Royal, which are supervised by the Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB).
“Many other local players in the cocoa industry had exported and sold downstream chocolate products inside and outside the country. In fact, cocoa beans from Ranau (Sabah) had also been exported overseas,” he told reporters after officiating at the National Cocoa Seminar Malaysia 2022 here on Wednesday.
Also present were the Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantations and Commodities, Datuk Ravi Muthayah, the President of MCB, Rahimah Majid, and the Director General of MCB, Dr. Ramle Kasin.
Willie said the government has always been committed to helping local cocoa industry players showcase their products through roadshows and overseas trade missions.
However, these entrepreneurs cannot entirely rely on the government, especially with regard to the commercial advertising of chocolate product brands.
Meanwhile, Willie said the government is carrying out two feasibility studies on the possibility of setting up cocoa trading centers in Tanjung Pelepas Port and Pasir Gudang Port, Johor, as well as establishing the development’ CocoaNexus’ in the Seri Iskandar region of Johor until 12 Plan Malaysia.
He said feasibility studies conducted by MCB, among others, saw the potential to speed up the cocoa grinding process and encourage the downstream processing industry to produce cocoa products.
The aim is also to improve the export value of cocoa beans and finished cocoa products, as Malaysia has ample supply of cocoa, in addition to being one of the largest grinders of cocoa from the region, he said.
He said if successful, the feasibility studies would be extended to other states including Sabah and Sarawak.
Regarding the seminar on the theme of New Standards for a Competitive Cocoa Sector through the Adaptation of Smart Technologies, he said that up to 300 participants from cocoa industry stakeholders attended the program which took place for two days from Wednesday.