The Samoa Koko Industry Association Welcomes New Executive Committee

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Back row L-R: Helen Skipps (SCCI), James Faiumu (Independent Farmer), Nathan Wilson (Bean Processor), Tapaū Alex Mikaele (Independent Farmer), Samantha Rogers (SKIA Secretariat). Front row L-R: Tupa’i Saleimoa Va’ai (Bean Processor), Maoi'autele Amitonu Brigitta Fa'afiti-Lo Tam (Vice Chair), Mulitalo Saena Penaia (SFFI), Alo Kolone Va’ai (Chairman), Va’aaoao Alofipo (SAS

17th September 2021. The Samoa Koko Industry Association (SKIA) welcomed its new Executive Committee at its Annual General Meeting held last Thursday 16th September 2021 at the Lava Hotel Conference Room.

This year’s AGM covered the
chairman’s report and SKIA’s audited financials for its operations in 2019 and 2020, as due to State of Emergency restrictions on public gatherings in 2020, SKIA was not able to hold its AGM last year.

SKIA was established in 2018 with the support from the Samoa Cocoa Industry Development Initiative and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In last night’s AGM, outgoing Chairman Mulitalo Saena Penaia presented his Chairman’s report that detailed the operations of SKIA over the 2019-2020 period.

In his report, Mulitalo informed the members on the delay of SKIA projects and activities due to the association’s inability to hold an AGM in 2020. He also presented on SKIA’s upcoming events involving a Cocoa Coaching Course for SKIA members and other workshops to be held later this year.

“I would like to express my sincere thank you to those that were working together in preparation of the [SKIA] Constitution and also bringing SKIA into establishment.

I also acknowledge Helen Skipps for her contribution to the development of the Constitution and a special thank you to Lemauga Hobart Vaai as the Secretariat for SKIA,” said Mulitalo.

The SKIA Elected Committee Members for 2021-2022 are
Chairman – Alo Kolone Va’ai
Vice Chair – Maoi’autele Amitonu Brigitta Fa’afiti-Lo Tam. Independent Farmer Representatives – Taupaū Alex Mikaele and James Faiumu.
Upolu Farmers Association Representatives – Samoa Farmers Federated Incorporation.
Savaii Farmers Association Representatives – Sosaiete Aufaifaatoaga Savaii.
Koko Bean Processors – Savaii Koko and Wilex Samoa.

Newly elected Chairman, Alo Kolone Va’ai acknowledges the support of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and SCIDI project for the ongoing activities for SKIA.

Alo said he was humbled fo accept the Chairmanship role.

“I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the past Chairman, lau afioga Mulitalo for the great job that he has done especially setting up the association and guiding us in these previous two years. He was an inspiration for us younger farmers growing up and also for me serving under him as Vice Chair.

“It’ll be an honour to try and follow him as the new Chairman of SKIA”, he said.

SKIA’s vision is to develop a sustainable and wealth creating Samoan cocoa industry, that benefits both smallholders and commercial growers, and the domestic and export value chains that exist around them.
We will achieve this by building on the successes Samoa has had to date, by learning from mistakes made, and by guiding Koko Samoa into a realistic and achievable future. If you wish to learn more about the Samoa Koko Industry Association please contact theirsecretariat the Samoa Chamber of Commerce Secretariat.

Back row L-R: Helen Skipps (SCCI), James Faiumu (Independent Farmer), Nathan Wilson (Bean Processor), Tapaū Alex Mikaele (Independent Farmer), Samantha Rogers (SKIA Secretariat).
Front row L-R: Tupa’i Saleimoa Va’ai (Bean Processor), Maoi’autele Amitonu Brigitta Fa’afiti-Lo Tam (Vice Chair), Mulitalo Saena Penaia (SFFI), Alo Kolone Va’ai (Chairman), Va’aaoao Alofipo (SAS)