First Australian made Chocolate

IT has taken a group of Mossman farmers 10 years to perfect Australia's first chocolate made from  
locally grown cocoa.

The group, Daintree Estates Cocoa, will unveil their chocolate at a lunch celebration at Port Douglas on Friday.

The chocolate will be the first Australian-made chocolate for commercial use from cocoa grown near Mossman.

The milk and dark chocolate varieties are made in Melbourne at present but there are plans to open a chocolate factory at Mossman to expand the business and as a tourist attraction.

"This is an exciting time for Mossman, Queensland, and the $1.4 billion Australian chocolate market that has never before had a locally grown commercial offering," Ray Durrant, executive chairman of Daintree Estates Cocoa, said.

"The cocoa we use has been nurtured from four estates in the Mossman area of the Daintree National Park. Each farmer has a special story to tell about their love affair with the land, region and cocoa and the opportunities this brings to the region."

Daintree Estates cocoa is the collective brainchild of former chocolate industry experts, government agricultural researchers and the staunch support of pioneering Far Northern farmers.

Most of cocoa growers are sugarcane farmers, many are from families with farming histories that date back generations in the Mossman area.

One of those farmers is Don Murday who is proud to be a chocolate producer.

"We`ve had no shortage of chocolate taste testers so if that's any indication then we are positive it will a real hit," Mr Murday said.

"We`ve had a lot of positive feedback, I think people are very surprised at how nice the chocolate is. It has a real fruity flavour."