Hot demand for Koko

One of the biggest cocoa producers in Samoa has seen a huge surge in orders and says they're from Samoans abroad wanting a taste of home.

Covid-19 travel restrictions have many Samoans living abroad yearning for a taste of home.

The managing director of Savai'i Koko, Saleimoa Vaa'i says there's been a huge surge in orders for the paste used to make the much-loved traditional drink, koko Samoa.

"When the borders were open people used to travel and of course informally export the cocoa with them, but with Covid (restrictions),  it's introduced a need or a want from a lot of our people overseas wanting cocoa...

"The demand overseas has been so high that we are seeing a lot of our cocoa being exported via paste to countries like New Zealand and Australia."

Savai'i Koko exports mainly cocoa beans and has about 120,000 trees on a 120 ha plantation.

New Zealand company Whittaker's Chocolate is its biggest customer.