A Jamaican Company’s Journey to the Netherlands

The Pure Chocolate Company, an award-winning chocolate manufacturing firm based in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, that uses top-quality Jamaica cocoa in its products, is now exporting its wares to the Netherlands. The first shipment from the company owned and operated by husband and wife Wouter Tjeertes and Rennae Johnson occurred in April 2023.

Two Product Lines In First Shipment

The tree-to-bar offerings in the first shipment featured its original and flavored lines of chocolate bars. The flavored line includes jerk, lemongrass, coffee, and coconut flavors. Just a month after the first export, the firm received excellent feedback from its distributor, which took the products to Cologne, Germany’s ISM fair.

Pure Chocolate Wins Awards

In 2021, Pure Chocolate Company won a gold medal and two bronze medals at London’s 13th Academy of Chocolate. It also received the Marcus Garvey Award for Agriculture in recognition of its efforts to empower its farming partners with the knowledge they need to produce beans of the highest quality.

Company To Expand Export Plans

Pure Chocolate intends to expand its export operations to other markets in Europe immediately, said Tjeertes, who added that its distribution partner will begin to offer the product lines in seven countries, including Belgium and Germany, which are two of the greatest consumers of chocolate in the world. In conjunction with the promotional initiatives of its distributor, Pure Chocolate plans to raise its profile on social media in Europe by advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok  in areas where the product has been placed for sale.

Owners Welcomed Aid From JAMPRO and International Trade Center (ITC)

Tjeertes noted that he and his wife have received support from the International Trade Center (ITC) and JAMPRO, Jamaica’s promotional agency, since 2021 to help them identify and exploit their current export market while targeting other markets as well. Assistance from these programs allowed the couple to travel to trade fairs in London, Paris, and Amsterdam and to learn about their markets via online training sessions. Without this support, Tjeertes said Pure Chocolate would never have been able to make the deals that resulted in their current distribution partnership. He noted that JAMPRO in particular was an active advocate for the firm and helped to showcase their products to resources such as the Jamaican High Commission in London.

New Export Operations Mean Business Expansion

Because of the new export options, Pure Chocolate has expanded its artisan studio in Ocho Rios and now employs six staff members in the production of chocolate “from bean to bar,” and It is partnering with more farmers to obtain additional raw material. The company will next apply what was learned from its European expansion to the United States market. Locally, workshops on chocolate manufacturing are offered at its studio at Island Village in Ocho Rios on weekends.

Photo – Official Facebook Page for PURE Chocolate Jamaica

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