Improved Market Access for Cocoa in Solomon Islands
With a production of approximately 5,000 metric tonnes per year, Solomon Islands’ cocoa industry is well situated to appeal to a niche cocoa market. Cocoa from Solomon Islands offers great opportunities for the production of single origin chocolate with a good “back story”. This market survey confirms there are significant price premiums for good quality, smoke free beans from boutique buyers in Australia and New Zealand, as well as from the Asian cocoa grinding market. Factors constraining the development of the cocoa market are: poor quality cocoa (particularly smoky beans); lack of market knowledge; lack of competition; and finance capital for exporters. Furthermore, cocoa grinders look to source through single, reliable suppliers instead of going direct to smallholders. While Solomon Islands builds a reputation in the higher value niche market, it is recommended that exporters diversify their customer base and potentially increase their current bulk market contract pricing.