Ireland’s first Fairtrade bean-to-bar chocolate factory launched in Clonakilty

Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

After a busy year of research and growth, founder Allison Roberts and the team at Clonakilty Chocolate is celebrating the official launch of it’s new Fairtrade bean-to-bar factory this week in conjunction with Fairtrade fortnight, which runs until March 8.

Thanks to the tremendous support by the people of Clonakilty through a crowdfunding campaign ran last summer, the small local business has expanded — purchasing supplies and machinery needed to take a great leap forward, creating a garden chocolate factory within minutes walk of the town centre. Now a team of four, Clonakilty Chocolate is delighted to unveil its brand new artisan bars, which are both gluten free and diabetic friendly.

Among the artisan flavours to be launched are: ‘Milky Milk’ — a goat’s milk bar with coconut sugar; ‘Decadent Dark’ — a 72 per cent sweetened with Xylitol and Peruvian Lucuma Fruit; ‘Totally Minted’ — a 75 pc sweetened bar with Low-GI (diabetic friendly) coconut sugar and; ‘Wild West’ — with a pinch of Irish Salt and Seaweed.

Being a supporter of Fairtrade — where farmers and workers receive a fair price and wage for their product — ensures that when Clonakilty Chocolate is purchased, farmers in Ghana also get a sweet deal for their hard work, something Allison and her team at Clonakilty Chocolate are hugely proud of.

Speaking of the launch, Allison Roberts said, “I am thrilled to finally launch our new bars, which have been in the making since last Autumn. The new flavours are really exciting and it’s fantastic to be doing something completely unique, which also makes a difference to the farmers from where we source our beans. In 2013, I had the opportunity to visit Ghana see first-hand the positive impact my small business is able to have on the lives these farmers so when I came back I was even more committed to growing Clonakilty Chocolate. I went from making regular milk, dark and white chocolate bars to getting focused on doing something different placing Clonakilty Chocolate in a niche space as local, ethical and alternative chocolate company.  My mission is always to come up with flavours that are exciting and new and of course, healthier. I am also delighted to be able to offer workshops for adults and children from our new garden workshop, something I have never had the space to do before!”

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

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