Fresh Tongan produce gets boost in New Zealand


Following its successful five-year run storing and distributing fresh Tongan produce and other products in Australia, JM Store has set up a similar facility in Auckland.<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_1874" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Refrigeration facility at JM Store (NZ) Ltd, photo by Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-1874" title="JM Store - Refrigeration Facility" src="" alt="" width="250" height="188" /></a>[/caption]

The enterprise imports one container full of product including frozen produce from Tonga every two or three weeks. Imported product includes fresh produce such as yams, breadfruit and taro leaves.

All too often, Pacific Island product arrives in a less than pristine state as it journeys across the high seas. But JM Store’s infrastructure and practice addresses exactly that issue. It has a pack house in Tonga complete with commercial refrigeration to ensure that the freshness and quality of the products is maintained. The facility has a certification from Australian and New Zealand authorities.

The Auckland facility is located at 1, Mepal Place in Manukau, which indeed is a hub for Pacific Island populations. It has approval from New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food and has refrigeration facilities, which makes moving products from container to its freezers seamless and without exposure to the elements.

JM Store packages product in a manner that suits Pacific Island customers living in New Zealand. It specialises in bulk packs, which is great while catering to large family feasts – a frequent requirement among the gregarious islands people.

JM Store’s business – managed in Auckland by two Tongan sisters, Ana and Elisiva Manu passionate about Tonga’s agricultural exports – helps more than 1000 farmers in Tonga. Its investment in elaborate infrastructure designed to preserve the freshness of the produce, particularly that of frozen root crops, has pleasantly surprised Auckland’s Pasifika community.