Cocoa trees come in several varieties in Samoa, each of which hasRead More
Welcome to the web presence of the Samoa Koko Industry Association – SKIA for short. SKIA’s vision is to develop a sustainable and wealth creating Samoan cocoa industry, that benefits both smallholders and commercial growers, and the domestic and export value chains that exist around them. We will achieve this by building on the successes Samoa has had to date, by learning from mistakes made, and by guiding Koko Samoa into a realistic and achievable future.
The future for Koko Samoa clearly lies in building a sustainable export industry, servicing the demand for fine flavour cocoa beans generated in the Pacific Rim economies, and possibly beyond. Mainstream New Zealand & Australian chocolate manufacturers as well as boutique chocolatiers are currently unable to gain enough, regular, and consistent supplies of Samoan cocoa. The demand for Koko Samoa is real, as are the prospects of our country rebuilding the export industry based on its heritage and inherent skill-sets in cocoa production.
The first documented appearance of cocoa in Samoa occurred in 1883, when German planters initially introduced the Criollo subspecies, sourced from what were then Ceylon and Java. In 1898, Forastero subspecies plants from Java were also introduced. These Forastero plants were planted in amongst the original Criollo plantations, to replace the significant number of Criollo plants that had failed to survive. The Forastero plants in question were of the Amelonado variety. Theobroma Cacao L. (the Latin name for the cacao species within the cocoa taxonomic hierarchy) hybridises very easily, and over a short period of time. The offspring of those original Criollo and Amelonado plants produced a quality of bean that was known in the cocoa trade as “Samoan Trinitario”, locally referred to as “Koko Samoa”. It is that cocoa which has the fine flavour and characteristics that was responsible for Samoan cocoa achieving a premium price over bulk cocoa.