8 May 2017

Co-operative push for Savaii cocoa

8:20 pm on 8 May 2017

A family-run cocoa plantation in Samoa is struggling to meet overseas demand for its organically grown produce and wants to form a co-operative to address the issue.

A revival of the cocoa industry has played a key role in helping to cement peace in the community of Konnou, in southern Bougainville.

Cocoa Beans Photo: World Bank/Alana Holmberg

A drought in 2016 on the island of Savaii reduced the cocoa harvest, forcing producers to raise their prices.

A manager of the Va'ai Koko Samoa plantation, Kolone Va'ai, said the firm's export products need to meet stringent quality controls.

He said a collective approach would better address demand and quality issues.

"We've taken steps to forming an association, especially on this part of the island, called the Tuasau Koko Association," he said.

"So we have started to address those issues, especially collecting all the smaller farmers into one association or co-operative that we can try to pull everybody together to meet the supply that the markets from overseas demand."