Samoa: the Chocolate Treasure Island of the Pacific
Posted in: Travels & Adventures
Have finally had time to start a open-to-the-public Pinterest board about Samoan cocoa. Did you know that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island while he was in Samoa. Thats why we call Samoa the Chocolate Treasure Island of the Pacific. Cocoa has been cultivated throughout Samoa for more than 120 years. Cocoa plantations are concentrated in the two 'rain shadows' along the northwest coasts of both islands. A great share of Samoan cocoa is Criollo and Trinitario varieties.
Koko Samoa is Samoas national beverage and forms an important part of the diet. By developing country standards, Samoa already has a large domestic market. Spurred by tradition and knowledge, on average, 60% of households serve 5 cups per week per person (about 200g of koko malu) (Agriculture Census, 2009). Another report shows that about approximately 12,300 households in Samoa consume three cups of cocoa per week, on average. Hence, around 43,000 cups of cocoa are consumed in Samoa per week . This is equivalent to approximately 900kg of dry cocoa beans per week (Ministry of Agriculture 2004). A largely female cohort roasts unfermented beans, pounds them into a paste, and sells them in 200g cups in open-air markets for SAT5-6 / AUD2.20 (that is, SAT5,000/t -- about four times the current world price for cocoa beans).
According to 2009 trade figures, Samoa imports more chocolate and cocoa products than it exports. Total cocoa and cocoa preparations (HS6) exports totalled USD23,000 while imports came to USD328,000, thus showing a net trade deficit. When drilling down to chocolate alone, Samoa exported only USD1,000 while it imported USD227,000! (Trade Competitiveness Map of the International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org).
updated by @Howard & Hanna Frederick: 04/18/15 08:42:49AM