5 May 2017

Shortage of Samoan cocoa affecting NZ chocolate brand

10:35 am on 5 May 2017

A shortage of original Samoan cocoa is impacting on the marketing of a popular New Zealand chocolate brand.

Whittaker's 'Single Origin Samoan Cacao' using Trinitario Cocoa beans from the Vaai Family Plantation in Savaii

Whittaker's 'Single Origin Samoan Cacao' using Trinitario Cocoa beans from Savaii Photo: RNZI

Currently the local price of a small cocoa block on the streets is selling for up to 15 Samoan tala or close to US$6.

Whittakers spokesperson Matt Whittaker, said last year's drought has impacted on supply.

But he said while they have enough at the moment, the company is not heavily promoting their koko Samoa product right now.

"I think firstly typically the koko samoa prices do fluctuate from crop to crop, and depending on supply and demand of the bean that goes into making the koko Samoa. But generally speaking the drought in 2016 has affected our supply of cocoa from Samoa, as it has affected everyone in Samoa and the koko industry," said Matt Whittaker.

Matt Whittaker said the company is assisting with a pilot programme being run at a koko farm in Savai'i aimed at improving plantation techniques, building nurseries and ensuring the drying of beans results in a sustainable product and improving quality.