Pacific Trade Mission generates interest in food and beverage products


A group of exporters from across the region recently participated in a trade mission to New Zealand to boost export sales and secure additional customers.<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_7231" align="alignleft" width="138"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-7231" src="" alt="Mr John Stokes from The Produce Company shares market insights with the trade mission" width="138" height="104" /></a> Mr John Stokes from The Produce Company shares market insights with the trade mission[/caption]

The Pacific Trade Mission is the result of a partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I), New Zealand.

The project was supported by the European Union through the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project.

It brought some of the finest food products from the Pacific including Fiji crystalized ginger, Solomon Islands coffee, Tongan vanilla, Fiji crab, Papua New Guinea virgin coconut oil and spices, Samoan virgin coconut oil and dried bananas.

IACT selected seven companies based on their capacity to meet existing orders and increase production to supply further customers in New Zealand.  The exporters were Varivao Holdings Limited (Solomon Islands), The Crab Company (Fiji), Nature's Way Limited (Fiji), Women in Business Development Inc. (Samoa), Kaiming Agro Processing Limited (Fiji), Amruqa (Papua New Guinea), and Heilala Vanilla (Tonga).

PT&amp;I provided in-market support by developing a programme that presented the diverse opportunities available for Pacific Island exporters in the New Zealand market. It was a unique opportunity to gain key insights into food industry trends and opportunities in the market from restauranteurs, importers, distributors and retailers.

"It was important that the programme incorporated a diverse range of industry insights to not only show that a number of opportunities exist in the New Zealand market but there are several approaches a company can take to enter a market," says PT&amp;I Trade Development Manager, Joe Fuavao.

Joining the mission as Chef liaison and Industry Consultant was world renowned author and chef, Robert Oliver who promoted the delegates products by creating a Pacific canapé menu using their products for a cocktail event held at the AUT University's Four Seasons Restaurant. He was joined in the kitchen by 'My Kitchen Rules' finalists, Aaron and Heather Freeman. More than 70 people attended the event including government officials, media and key business people from the food and beverage industry.

One of New Zealand's top chefs and restaurant owners Michael Meredith, hosted the delegation at his restaurant. He noted that the flavours found in Pacific Island ingredients were often difficult to find in New Zealand however he was encouraged by the Trade Mission and looked forward to having a readily available supply.

The trade mission has already generated interest from New Zealand buyers who were impressed with the quality, packaging and sophistication of the products.

“It was great to see how well these companies were received by potential buyers in the New Zealand market.  Their Pacific Island food products seem to really appeal to consumers looking for high quality products grown in a chemical free environment,” says SPC Export Marketing Officer, Sally Ann Hughes.

Feedback from the delegation has been positive. The trade mission has generated momentum from existing customers with early reports of increased orders while creating opportunities for potential new customers as well.

PT&amp;I would like to thank SPC and the IACT team for their hard work and partnership on this mission. PT&amp;I also thanks Robert Oliver, Michael Meredith, Aaron and Heather Freeman, Auckland University of Technology, GS1 New Zealand, Pacific Cooperation Foundation and the New Zealand companies for their assistance and support.

PT&amp;I and the IACT team will continue to collaborate in providing assistance and support to the seven Pacific Islands companies to ensure that their goals of increasing exports to New Zealand are achieved.

For more information, please contact Joe Fuavao, PT&amp;I Trade Development Manager, Email: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Sally Ann Hughes, SPC IACT Export Marketing Officer, Email: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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