Samoan limes in New Zealand
<strong>Pacific Islands Trade & Invest</strong> (<b>PT&I</b>) has been working with the Samoa Farmers Association (SFA) to promote exports of Samoan produce in New Zealand. One of the recent projects that <b>PT&I </b>and SFA have worked on is facilitating the export of Samoan grown Tahitian limes to New Zealand.<!--more-->
“SFA with support from <b>PT&I</b> office in Auckland had successfully piloted exporting fresh Tahitian limes to New Zealand three years ago. Cyclone Evans, however, severely disrupted production and it’s only now that shipments have started again,” says SFA President Afamasaga Toleafoa.
“The focus in the last three years has been to increase production through rapid multiplication of planting material farmers. Some six thousand new plants have already been distributed to farmers, some of which are coming into production. This will substantially increase quantities available for export.”
A key component of <b>PT&I</b>’s work with SFA was evolving a packaging solution for the limes while building export volumes to New Zealand. The packaging project had inputs from <b>PT&I</b> offices in Auckland, Sydney and Beijing offices.
“With offices located in key international markets, <b>PT&I</b> is able to utilise its networks and in-house expertise to add value to Pacific Island export businesses,” PT&I NZ Knowledge & Research Manager Joe Fuavao says. “The <b>PT&I</b> offices in New Zealand, Australia and China worked together to deliver a cost effective packaging solution for the Samoa Farmers Association.
“The project management was provided by the Auckland office with design skill input from the Sydney office and relationship management with the manufacturer provided by PT&I Beijing.”
SFA has also substantially improved its marketing systems for fresh limes, with help from <b>PT&I</b>, Mr Toleafoa acknowledges. “Through <b>PT&I</b>, SFA has now established a brand name for Samoan limes, set up a SFA website and had supplies of cardboard cartons for lime exports made in China. These will now be used for the first time when exports re-start during the week of the SIDS conference.”
SFA aims to rapidly increase Samoa’s limes production so it can supply at least ten per cent of the New Zealand demand for fresh limes in the next five years.”