Wakefield-based chocolate manufacturing equipment supplier receives support from Department for International Trade

A Wakefield-based chocolate manufacturing equipment supplier has received support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) to support growth plans.

Coeur de Xocolat, founded by David Greenwood-Haigh, distributes a 'chocolate factory in a box', a shipping container that holds all the equipment needed to launch a production facility.

Greenwood-Haigh recently helped set up a chocolate factory in São Tomé and Principe, off the West African coast, known as the 'chocolate island' for its cocoa farming. He has also visited Haiti to meet potential buyers and to consult on cocoa farms.

Coeur de Xocolat has received support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help grow revenue as a result of exporting from 40 per cent to 80 per cent by 2020.

To support growing international trade, the business is hiring another permanent member of staff to support UK activities. It has also increased its international corporate event activity, holding team building exercises on the art of chocolate making with Evian in France and Dubai-based Al Ghurair Group.

David Greenwood Haigh, founder at Coeur de Xocolat, said: "It's an exciting time for the chocolate industry worldwide. Consumers are becoming more interested in premium chocolate, and are increasingly conscious of where their chocolate comes from.

"We're now seeing a similar trend to the explosion of barista made coffee, or how craft beer has taken off in the UK and abroad. It's being coined as the dawn of craft chocolate! It's creating a lot of opportunities overseas for me in my consultation work, and for corporate events too.

"Previously, international clients were difficult to come by, but working with DIT to make my website more internationally accessible and utilising better SEO has resulted in a lot of inbound business enquiries from across the globe. It's an inexpensive way for firms to grow their exporting success."