Makira Gold consists of the Founder Brian Atkin and his cousin Ronnie Maxwell, who is the only full time employee.
Brian is half Solomon Islander and lives in Brisbane, Australia. Ronnie is a full Solomon Islander and lives on the island of Makira, Solomon Islands.
Brian and Ronnie started their cacao partnership together in Dec 2014, with the vision of providing economic opportunities for their impoverished rural community in their village on Makira.
Since then they have learnt from many setbacks but have also achieved much. Their vision expanded from just supporting their local community to also trying to strengthen the Solomon Islands specialty cacao industry, which shows much promise and potential but has some significant barriers – in particular the high cost of seafreight and the reliability and consistent quality of cacao exports.
Through working with in-country cacao consultants, Makira Gold now buys the best quality cacao from Solomon Island farmers and exports in bulk into Brisbane, where it is sold to craft chocolate makers across Australia and even internationally.
This is a photo of Brian and Ronnie at the 2016 Solomon Islands Chocolate Week.