Small islands F&B trade mission keen to show “small is good”

27/10/2015

Six exporters from the smallest island states of the Pacific will be coming to Auckland next month on an exploratory food and beverage trade mission.<!--more-->

<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/rsz_vanilla.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-7454" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/rsz_vanilla.jpg" alt="rsz_vanilla" width="138" height="104" /></a>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) New Zealand has organised the Pacific Islands Small Islands States Food &amp; Beverage Exploratory Mission for 9-13 November 2015.

PT&amp;I Trade Manager Teremoana Mato says we are promoting the produce of small island states to the market place and small can be good. “There’s an advantage to being small. It creates a niche product targeting certain segments of the markets. Some of the mission delegates are representing village based co-operative producer groups and have some great stories to tell that make the origins of the product unique and therefore marketable.

“These groups are based on family values and are family oriented. Because they are small, the consumer can be assured that the owners are quite intimate with the production and know every stage of the supply chain and are aware they will need to produce a quality product.”

The trade mission is the first PT&amp;I Small Island States trade delegation to come to New Zealand in a number of years. The tailor-made programme is industry specific focusing on the food and beverage industries. It is a stepping stone for the Small Island States to enter the market and promote their niche products. It highlights the many issues and challenges faced by the smaller countries including long distances to markets, costs of shipping and freight and other biosecurity and customs barriers that hamper smaller countries from exporting.

One of the main purposes for the mission delegates is to explore and understand the landscape of the New Zealand market and to get a better understanding of the supply chain says Mr Mato. The six exporters are from the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Niue, Nauru, Tuvalu and the Republic of Marshall Islands.

The programme involves a series of events during the week that will include a media conference on day one followed by an information session on NZ import regulations and processes so exporters understand some of the technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.

The delegation will make site visits to government biosecurity and customs departments, private sector importers and buyers; chefs and hospitality industry representatives to gain key insights into the industry trends and opportunities from importers, distributors and retailers.

A bonus for the trade mission will be the opportunity to meet with some of New Zealand’s top Pacific Island chefs who will share their experiences of sourcing and using ingredients to create unique Pacific menus and dishes.

The delegation will include:
<ul>
<li>Te Winery Extractors &amp; Distillers Limited from the Cook Islands. The company produces wines and liqueurs from locally grown fruits such as banana, soursop, passionfruit, mango, starfruit and vanilla bean to produce wine, liqueur and flavouring essences.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>Niue Vanilla International will supply organic vanilla, vanilla and honey paste, vanilla powder, fresh vanilla pods, vanilla infused coconut oil, vanilla sugar and cocktail spirits. The vanilla beans are sourced directly from local farmers and sun-cured over 3-5 months. The beans are certified organic by Biogro and are gluten- and GMO-free.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>Palau Aquatics, a member of the Palau Aquaculture Cooperative Association and a sister company to the not-for-profit Palau Women’s Cooperative will be on board. The company specialises in aquaculture produce from fisheries, farmed giant clams and mangrove crabs.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>Pandanus Juice from the Republic of the Marshall Islands is also on show. The juice is produced by Robert Reimers Enterprises (RRE) founded in 1950, starting with tourism and agriculture and real estate before producing local fruit beverages. The pandanus juice is unique to the Marshall Islands and is considered the “Divine Tree” of the Marshall Islands. The drink contains fibre, enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li>The small islands of Tuvalu will be represented by the Tuvalu Coconut Traders Cooperative Limited. The cooperative has over 5000 members made up of small community groups and families spread over the main island of Funafuti and the outer islands. Members of the cooperative collect mature coconuts from the main and outer islands. The cooperative is keen to tap into the increasing demand for coconut and believes it is capable of supplying up to two tonnes of coconuts every two months.</li>
</ul>
The project is a joint venture by PT&amp;I supported by the Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Programme (PITAP), an initiative of the European Union.

For more information please contact: PT&amp;I Trade Development Manager Teremoana Mato on mona.m@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz or call +64 9 5295165.

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