TGI Co-operative Cocoa Program


Papua New Guinea


Product: Cocoa
Program Phase: Pilot
Program Partners: St Barbara Ltd, Simberi Mine Services Ltd


Picturesque and isolated, the Tabar Group of Islands (TGI) in New Ireland, PNG, are home to the Simberi Gold Mine, operated by St Barbara since 2012. The mine has brought a significant increase in economic opportunities for the local community. On closure of the mine, an independent economic future for the community needs to be developed to ensure the community continues to thrive.


In 2018, an Options Study was conducted to assess potential agricultural opportunities that met local agronomic conditions plus logistical challenges and have a strong return on investment for the local community. Cocoa was viewed as a viable opportunity.

​Business for Development is working with St Barbara’s Environment and Community Relations teams to:

  • Establish a community owned cocoa business.
  • Create a centralised nursery, cocoa production, and cocoa processing on Simberi Island before shipment to an offtake partner.
  • Train farmers in good agronomic practices.
  • Build the business eco-system so when St Barbara closes the community is independent and the program continues.
  • Develop offtake partnership for future cocoa production.


The program will enable St Barbara to create a positive legacy for the region by developing a sustainable cocoa enterprise for the local communities. Through collaboration with other regional stakeholders, St Barbara is demonstrating leadership in what may become a broader provincial economic development plan.

Design by HEARD Agency