Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community

Woman organic farmer creates the Pacific’s first cacao and chocolate show

Posted On: May 6, 2022

Ms Floris Niu is an organic farmer and a successful entrepreneur owning Koko Beans Ltd in New Zealand and Ms Sunshine Organic Farms in Samoa. She is also an active member of the POETCom Women’s Chapter.

Ms Niu is the creator and producer of the Pacific Cacao and Chocolate 2022 show to be held on 23 July in New Zealand. The New Zealand show will follow the Samoan event Tauvaga Fatu Koko 2022 in June.

Inspired by the Koko Agritourism she pioneered in Samoa since 2016, to women gatherings from around the globe, Ms Niu designed these two events to pay tribute to the people who have been growing cacao for more than 130 years in the Pacific.

Celebrating the Pacific’s cacao and chocolate history in cultivation, value, innovation and its potential in the world’s artisan food markets, the Pacific Cacao and 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.

Floris Niu – owner and founder of Ms Sunshine Farms

The event will celebrate cacao and chocolate products, by bringing unique stories of Pacific farmers, families and village communities who are behind the products which New Zealand consumers recognise in today’s markets. With very little technology involved in the cultivation and processing of cacao, selecting the best beans for a chocolate bar is handled by the loving hands of Pacific farmers.

During the event, several exciting competitions have been designed to acknowledge and celebrate those who live and breathe cacao and chocolate everyday: the farmers, bean-to-bar chocolate makers, youth innovators, and chocolate lovers.

The winners of the Samoan competition will have their beans sent to the prestigious Cocoa of Excellence Awards in Paris. One lucky Samoan farmer will have the opportunity to co-create a brand-new limited edition product range with New Zealand craft chocolate maker Raglan Chocolate.

Ms Niu is following her dreams and vision though not without resistance or challenges. Gender-based biases and prejudices are some of the barriers she encountered especially in mobilising funding support for the event, a space often dominated by men and which tends to support larger commercial operations over small enterprises. However, her self-confidence, her skills, the examples of other empowered women within the sector, the collective action and cooperation among women, the support from men in shifting harmful mindsets and practices, are a few factors that helped her through these challenges.

“I think people in general love new ideas, but when a woman has a big idea then that could be considered dangerous. Some will embrace it; others will fight it. The key is to focus on those who embrace your ideas and support you through it, whether they are women or men,” says Ms Niu.

The New Zealand show is still open for sponsors and exhibitors and seeking participation from Fiji, New Caledonia and French Polynesia farmers and chocolate producers.

The show is also being produced as a hybrid event, with country participation via live stream and through two webinars before and after the live show in New Zealand.

This event is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and is a collaboration between the Grow Asia Pacific Charitable Trust, Ms Sunshine Organic Farms Charitable Trust in Samoa, and SPS Biota New Zealand.

To learn more about Pacific Cacao and Chocolate 2022, go to or contact Ms Niu at or



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