Read the C-Corp Case Study
About the company
C-Corp has been operating in the cocoa industry in the Solomon Islands for over 2 years. The company is also involved in coastal shipping and general commodity trading, mainly in timber, copra and dry goods.
Total grant funding approved: ECF A$1,155,000
About the project
With the support of an ECF grant, C-Corp will rehabilitate and redevelop 280ha of Horokiki cocoa and 60 ha of new cocoa plantations in collaboration with local landowners in the Solomon Islands. Funding will support the growing of cocoa beans on the plantations, the purchase of a cocoa processing unit and the marketing of Guadalcanal origin premium grade cocoa to export markets.
C-Corp will also operate a cocoa seedling nursery to supply seedlings to both the plantation unit and other regional outgrowers. The nursery will operate from three locations in the north and east Guadalcanal Province areas, with the capacity to produce 70,000 seedlings per annum.
Results December 2012
- C-Corp has successfully rehabilitated over 172 hectares of land for cocoa production. C-Corp estimates a full harvest could be up to 100-150 tonnes of cocoa/year from each side.
- Trials of hybrid new cocoa varieties are underway and the drying facilities have been completed.
- Transportation infrastructure has been improved and growing of seedlings is being contracted out to local villagers.
- C-Corp contracts up to 120 field and plantation workers in permanent, contract and casual positions. Workers earn SB$4.5–4.75 per hour (SB$35 or A$4.70 per day).
- C-Corp has also increased its planting area beyond Horokiki to 22 hectares of plantings in Mbalasuna. The new area employs 8–10 local villagers and has just started producing a crop in 2013.
- Another AusAID funded project - Coconuts Livelihoods Improve Program is working with cocoa growers in rural areas of the Solomon Islands by protecting against the cocoa borer. The program uses the plantation managed by C-Corp in demonstrating appropriate pest and disease management systems.
- C-Corp has been very actively involved in community development in East and West Horokiki setting up health clinics, water supply, solar panels and a community library. In Mbalasuna C-Corp supported villagers to purchase a vehicle for sourcing wet beans from surrounding remote cocoa growers and processing them in driers provided by C-Corp.
- At times over 2012, the east side of C-Corp cocoa plantation has stopped activities because of disputes between two landowner groups stemming in part from confusion over the joint venture agreements. The joint ventures were based on international commercial standards and pay dividends, based on the companies’ accumulated profits. This differs from expectation of landowners for ongoing payments particularly as their land is in use. The tense relationships and a serious cocoa bean theft problem means C-Corp are struggling to secure the volumes of cocoa beans it requires.