Cocoa trees come in several varieties in Samoa, each of which hasRead More
Koko Samoa is many things right now. It is a drink; it is part of the way of life; it is an aspect of Samoa’s agricultural crop portfolio – and it is also a memory of what it used to be. It can still be all of these things, but the Samoa Koko Industry Association (SKIA) now also want it to stand for the success we intend to create through developing and implementing the strategy laid out in this document. Samoa and cocoa are intrinsically connected with each other, and we want to see this bond strengthened and grow in importance at all levels of Samoan life.
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.
No matter the direction of the world economy, there will always be a demand for quality chocolate. This translates into a consistent demand for fine flavour cocoa.
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 sufficient, 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.
For this to occur, Samoa needs to address the present competency, skill and resource capacity gaps within its cocoa industry. Addressing these gaps in a coordinated, constructive, and holistic manner will grow the amount of cocoa Samoa has available for export without disrupting the domestic market. As the volume of fine flavour cocoa harvested increases, marketing opportunities beyond the supply of cocoa beans will open. These include the ability to produce cocoa paste, cocoa butter, and FMCG chocolate products, along with functional foods derived from cocoa, or including cocoa as an ingredient. Our vision is therefore a holistic one, applicable to the entire Samoan cocoa industry, from growers to processors, marketers, shippers, logistics companies, research providers, and chocolate manufacturers.
The underpinning principles of a sustainable and wealth creating cocoa industry are in part generic to any country capable of producing cocoa commercially through its geographic location and climatic conditions; and partially country specific. All producing countries grow cocoa or cacao – only Samoa nurtures and harvests Koko!
How SKIA will ensure that Samoa develops a sustainable and wealth creating cocoa industry that enables us to take Koko Samoa to the world will be outlined in this strategy document.
SKIA will succeed with its Mission by combining our unique Samoan knowledge, qualities and experiences with Best Practice protocols becoming available to us through working initially with the New Zealand funded Samoan Cocoa Industry Development Initiative (S.C.I.D.I.). Ultimately, we will take responsibility for successfully taking Koko Samoa to the world, through empowering our Samoa Koko Industry Association to speak for, and work on behalf of, its members.