Evening Standard - ES Magazine
Cacao Beans, mostly grown in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil, Cameroon and Ecuador, are transported thousands of miles to cater to sweet tooths all over the world. Singaporean pastry chef, confectioner and artist Janice Wong, the brains behind Pure Imagination, relies on them heavily for her creations, and has decided to reduce her brand’s carbon footprint and by cultivating them in her tiny, densely populated country for the first time. However, this was easier said than done. ‘There is literally no land in Singapore,’ says Wong, ‘and it would have cost me $4,000 Singapore dollars [£2,400] to rent one hectare of land per month.’ Instead, she has decided to grow the trees in any spare spot she can, and has partnered with a shopping centre, school and botanical attraction Gardens by the Bay to plant the trees on their spare land. Now, she is able to harvest cocoa beans, educate local citizens on the cultivation process, and as of 2023, hopes to be able to sell single-origin, bean-to-bar Singaporean chocolate.