A New Zealand chocolate company says it hopes by sourcing cocoa from Samoa, it can help revitalise Samoa's cocoa export market.
The Whittaker's new Artisan collection was released this week, including the 'Single Origin Samoan Cacao' block, which uses cocoa from the Vaai Family Plantation in Savaii, Samoa.
Whittaker's head of international markets, Matt Whittaker, says he wanted to include Samoa as it's such a big part of New Zealand culture, and is creating cocoa so close to home.
Mr Whittaker says there hasn't really been a cocoa export market in Samoa for some time, and some of the processes need to be re-learnt.
"We want to use this programme to establish a, for want of a better description, a 'hero' plantation, or a great example, or best practice. We can then extrapolate to other plantations and farmers via establishing co-operatives and really using what we've learnt with the Vaai family plantation to broaden the supply base, therefore getting the quality and the yield up, so they can have a product they can export."
Matt Whittaker says he's hoping to meet with farmers in Samoa this week, in the hopes of including more farms in their Cocoa Improvement Programme.