Pacific Cacao & Chocolate 2022 is the first Pacific event dedicated to the evolution of cacao, from commodity and a family affair, to luxurious branding and world-class flavour profiling.
Chocolate consumers of today are bombarded with nutritional claims and traceable sourcing. Everyone is looking for the best story to help them decide how they feel about cacao and chocolate. Whichever decision you make as a consumer, this event will help to remind you that behind every food we consume, there are people; farmers, families, villages communities.
With very little technology involved in the cultivation and processing of cacao, selecting the best beans for your chocolate bar is in the loving hands of Pacific farmers.
Craft chocolate is a growing and exciting food industry where Pacific cacao needs recognition, through its stories of origin, tradition, diversity of flavours and terroirs.
Equally important, are the passionate chocolate makers who make up the Pacific’s growing Craft Chocolate industry. Without them we would not have the diverse choices on retail shelves.
This one-day, ticketed event consists of two mini-events: the Chocolate Trade Event (daytime), and the VIP Cacao Awards (evening). To engage to with our international and pacific audiences, we will reach out through two interactive Webinars before and after the event.
This event is supported by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand (MFAT); and is a collaboration between Grow Asia Pacific Charitable Trust, Ms Sunshine Organic Farms Charitable Trust, Samoa, and SPS Biota NZ.
We look forward to celebrating Pacific Cacao & Chocolate with you on July 23rd.
Sponsor | Exhibit | Volunteer | Guest speaker | Influencer | Compete | ShareBecome a sponsor
Join the first Cacao & Chocolate Celebration in Aotearoa, hosted by the Pacific People who cultivate it.
Please contact Floris Niu on +64 274 089 061 or email email@example.com for more information.Register to exhibit with us
Pacific Cacao and Chocolate 2022, is New Zealand’s first authentic celebration of cacao and chocolate, brought to you by the people who cultivate and export it from the Pacific. Exhibiting with us means you are interested and committed to work with Pacific beans, to create new products or to further your connection and weave new stories that will impact your consumers and the world in a positive way.
Promote and sell your products to new audiences
Enter your Pacific inspired bean-to-bar in the Producer's Bar competition to win some amazing prizes
Connect with the Pacific Supply Chain directly
Be inspired to try Pacific cacao and tell new cacao stories that are closer to home
Join the Pacific Cacao Revolution to foster better trade relations in the region, improve prosperity for farmers, create new products for New Zealand producers
$500 +gst Standard 3 x 3 Booth (includes VIP Pass for 2 people)
$200 +gst Country Booth
$100 +gst Koko Samoa Producer Booth
Samoan cacao farmers at an Agri-tourism event on Ms Sunshine Organic Farms, Tuana'i Village, Upolu island @mssunshinefarms
For more than 130 years the Pacific farmers have been cultivating and exporting fine-flavour cacao varieties; trinitario, amelonado and criollo among others. Farmers predominantly grow cacao as part of multi-crops in smallholder farms. Families or villages help to process the beans through fermentation, drying and packing for export.
In Samoa, cacao is highly consumed locally because it's simply that good! Now the secret is out, as New Zealand chocolatiers and food producers are discovering the goodness, and convenience of sourcing premium quality beans from the Pacific Islands. Still, many people are not aware of the profound history that pacific islanders have with this ancient Latin American superfood.
Cacao, koko or kokoa as it is commonly known in the islands, has contributed to the Pacific’s economic resilience, while remarkably birthing a unique food and social culture. Today, cacao continues to temper the soul and essence of what Pacific Islanders create in their kitchens.
Slow roasting cacao beans on the fire.
Getting ready to host an Agri-tour,
and meditating on the beans
Koko Samoa chocolate paste made in a wooden bowl called tanoa ku'i koko (mortar and pestle)
Cocoa was introduced into Samoa by the 1890s by Germans. Commercial farming reached its peak in the 1960’s but by the early 2000’s it had dwindled to only a handful of cocoa farmers. Despite the decline in commercial production, Samoans continued to supply its biggest client- themselves. The domestic market saw processing techniques changing and Samoans focused on supplying their own families abroad with the famous block of Koko Samoa chocolate. The 150g block can retail up to NZD$15.
Following a visit to Samoa in 2014, Matt Whittaker together with Savaii Koko, set up the ‘Whittaker’s Cocoa Improvement Programme’, to supply better tools to farmers and provide education on sustainable practices. The programme has been a huge success for the Savaii business and its farmers.
"Trinitaro type cacao was introduced from Vanuatu into Santa Cruz in 1935. By that stage cacao production in Vanuatu was around 2,770 tons that came from around 60 plantations.“; Grant Vinning from his book, Cocoa in the Pacific: First 50 years. Vanuatu is one of the highest producers of cacao in the Pacific, next to Solomon Islands and PNG.
“The earliest reference to cocoa in the Solomons...is when Charles Morris Woodford, the energetic High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, visited John Stephens at Ugi in the Makira district in 1896. Woodford observed that Stephens had planted cocoa trees around his house. Woodford also observed that the trees were “diseased and neglected” suggesting they were planted in the late 1880s.", Grant Vinning from his book, Cocoa in the Pacific: First 50 years.
Cacao production in Queensland is in its infancy; producers are located along the wet tropical coast from the Daintree region to south of Tully and focused around the towns of Mossman and Innisfail.
A pioneer of Australian chocolate is Daintree Estates at Mossman, north Queensland. Other producers in the north include the highly awarded Charley's Chocolate Factory at Mission Beach which won an International 2017 Cocoa of Excellence Award in Paris.
Cocoa was introduced to Fiji in 1880 by the British with several varieties; Trinitario from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Trinidad . The modern day development of the industry was initiated in 1960's when the government made efforts to establish cacao as a smallholder crop to be interplanted with coconut.
"According to local chocolate maker Tomo Zukoshi, in the 1880’s, The Royal Botanical Garden of England sent cacao to Fiji, which by then had been claimed as a British colony. Due to increased taxes on goods from the Caribbean, seeking non-Caribbean sources for cacao had become a high priority for the Brits. So after almost a year’s journey through South Asia and Oceania, cacao trees finally arrived on the islands of Fiji." blog by Dame Cacao
Papua New Guinea is the birthplace of some of the most flavourful cocoa beans around the world. But the beans’ natural flavour has consistently been influenced by the local traditional method for drying: wood fire. Farmers dried their beans like this because of the very high humidity. The smoke however had a huge impact on the natural flavour, and consequently the taste of the chocolate. In recent years through the influence of companies like Belcolade, PNG has been transitioning to natural sun-drying methods.
"The first cacao in Asia was planted in the Philippines in 1670 while commercial farms developed in the 1950s. Production level reached 35,000 MT by 1990. However, production started to decline due to several factors such as weather and climatic condition, pests and diseases infestation, and aging trees. The decline was further aggravated by decreasing world market price and competition with other plantation crops such as banana and palm oil. Since 2014 there has been a joint effort by government and the sector to revive the crop.
In 2018, the Philippines produced 7983.20 metric tons of cacao and exported 2732.6 metric tons of cacao beans. Production is highest in the Davao region, representing 82% of total production."
– The Philippine Cacao Industry
It’s early morning and Samoan cacao farmer and chocolate creator, Floris Niu, puts on her gumboots, ready for the day’s routine on her farm in Tuanai village, Samoa.
Her first task is part chore and part meditation as she heads to the umukuka or cookhouse shelter in her backyard. She lifts a banana leaf covering a large woven coconut leaf basket, revealing fermenting cacao beans.
As a former cacao bean supplier to boutique chocolate company “She Universe”, New Zealand, Floris knows every bean she has exported or sold domestically.
Mike and Simone believe that,
“good chocolate is an exotic treat, made by craftspeople, not the sugary confection made in a large corporation”
Mike was a chef who then turned food technologist, and while he learned to make chocolate years before Raglan Chocolate, he always believed there was a better way to produce good and honest food. Mike was inspired by the alternative, fairness, and authenticity of the bean-to-bar concept that it became the heart of the couple’s business venture, Raglan Chocolate.
Raglan Chocolate was also born out of the encouragement from their small, beach town community. They are the designated Crafter of Pacific Cacao & Chocolate bean-to-bars for the Pacific Cup's Competition with contenders from: Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Philippines, Bougainville/Papua New Guinea.
Samoan Farmer’s Award- bean and chocolate blind tasting - Winner will collaborate with Raglan Chocolate on a limited edition bar for 1 year. Sponsored by PC&C 2022
Producer's Pacific Bean-to-bar, using beans from any of the following: Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, PNG/Bougainville, Philippines, Fiji. Sponsored by PC&C 2022 and Taumeasina Island Resort, Samoa
Youth Cacao Innovators- bonbon & original dish using the beans or chocolate. Open to youth 17-25 y/o. Combination pre-judged and live judging. Sponsored by Ao Tiakarete, Ms Sunshine Organic Farms, Taumeasina Island Resort, Samoa
The Pacific Cup- Best beans from around the Pacific. All bars to be crafted by Raglan Chocolate. Judged on Show-day- by the Public.
Best Koko Samoa hot chocolate brewed on the day
Best hot chocolate made with Pacific beans – brewed on the day
Eteuati Ete is a Samoan actor, comedian, and broadcaster who’s perhaps best known amongst the Pasifika community as one half of the Laughing Samoans comedy duo. He was born in Samoa and spent his childhood there, where the growing, processing, and drinking of Koko (cacao) Samoa was an integral part of life. Ete is proud and immensely supportive of the efforts by New Zealand and Australian chocolatiers who source their beans from the Pacific and value Pacific cacao as he does.
Grant Vinning is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cacao, and is a Pacific cocoa specialist, as well as author of the book “Cocoa in the Pacific: First 50 years”, which dives to uncover the true history and beginning of cocoa in the pacific and aims for readers to gain a better appreciation of growers and the industry in the Pacific. Grant also created the Strongim Bisnis Project which worked to improve earnings from cocoa in the Solomon Islands.
Oonagh, the founder of The Cacao Ambassador, and a Master Chocolatier for the past 16 years, now focuses on being a voice for the ancient ingredient Cacao, that makes chocolate. Her knowledge of chocolate and cacao is nothing short of wizardry. Oonagh puts her heart and soul into educating globally on the health benefits of cacao and being with Pacific Cacao farming communities to show and inspire them to enjoy their own crop locally.
Luke is New Zealand's leading craft chocolate expert, a regular judge at the NZ Chocolate Awards, and founder of The Chocolate Bar, NZ’s premiere craft chocolate retailer. In 2019, he created the Exclusive Pacific Chocolate Box - a collaboration project that brought together NZ's most talented chocolate makers and the Pacific region's best cacao suppliers. For years, he has been promoting high quality and ethical chocolate, and has writing about it for Cuisine, Dish Magazine and Kia Ora.
Tom Hilton has had many amazing successes and opportunities early in his life that saw his love for chocolate and crafting emerge as well as igniting a passion for the origin and history of cacao and the bean to bar concept. In 2021 Tom created Ao Tiakarete and began forging his path as a “trailblazing Māori chocolatier” as well as striving to unite people across Polynesia and bring forward greater community involvement within the industry.
Tickets: $75 p/p (or included in cost of Exhibitors booth)
Ca-cava ceremonial drink
Cacao Awards Presentation by MFAT
Canapes, Chocolate, Networking, Cultural Performances
Final Words by the Organisers
Pre-event Webinar/ Talanoa: Farmer and Chocolate-maker Stories
Pre-judging of Major Competitions (Judges only)
Part 1: Trade Event 9am - 3.30pm
Part 2: VIP Cacao Awards 6.30 - 8.30pm (limited tickets)
Post-event Webinar/ Talanoa: Reflections with special industry guests
Students/ Senior Citizens $7
Children 5-12 years $5
$500 NZD Standard booth 3 x 3m (includes 2 entries to the VIP Cacao Awards)
$200 NZD Standard booth for country/ farmers (includes 1 entry to the VIP Cacao Awards)
$100 NZD Koko Samoa exhibitor booth