The Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Europe booth at ANUGA 2017 not only provided a platform for six Pacific Island exporters to showcase their products to around 165,000 trade visitors, from 198 countries – it also was also the scene of a reunion of sorts.

Papua New Guinea’s “AMRUQA” which took part as a co-exhibitor displayed their range of spice, coconut and essential oil products, conducted face to face meetings, investigated potential strategic partnerships and new global markets and customers and refreshed contact with their oldest commercial partner.

As it happens, ‘AMRUQA’ comes from an East New Britain local language, Qaqet and is the name for the Rosewood Tree meaning: regrowth; regeneration.

This was the 34th ANUGA Trade Fair for food and beverages. “It is the world’s biggest and most important platform for the international food industry” said Gerald Bose, President and CEO of Koelnmesse, bringing together global demand and supply precisely, he said in the final report ANUGA 2017.  The trade fair was held in Cologne, Germany and organisers reported more than 7,400 company exhibitors from 107 countries.

PNG’s AMRUQA exhibited at ANUGA 2017 in Germany.

To explain why they were so thrilled and the significance of this meeting to Robyn Ekstrom PTI Europe’s Trade Promotion Adviser, Ian Sexton told the story which begins in 1997, when Michael Luzius, a well-established German importer awarded Follywell No.6 (which is now trading as “AMRUQA”) its first ever contract to export spices from Rabaul, Papua New Guinea to his company, Luzius & Stuhff GmbH in Hamburg.

“This started a business relationship that grew and matured over many years.  In a lot of ways, it set the benchmark for us, particularly in terms of how as a business and individuals we worked to develop mutual trust, open communications and established our commitment to our partners up and down the chain. By 2002 we were exporting over 70MT spices including chilies, nutmeg and cardamom pods, seeds, husk and light seed to this company in Europe.

“The history our companies share is quite amazing. This relationship is quite literally a foundation stone of our business.  From our side, Luzius & Stuhff’s faith in a small family operated spice producer located in a country on the other side of the planet was instrumental in the early establishment and success of the company that is today AMRUQA.

“Here at ANUGA in Cologne Germany, nearly 20 years after our very first export order, I had the honor of meeting in person with Inga Heuer and Petra Winkelmann, Luzius & Stuhff’s new Managing Partners.

“I’m really happy to hear that even though Mr Luzius is retired, he is still involved in the company, particularly as the next generation of management are trying to rekindle and reinvigorate that spice route from the Pacific. I’m looking forward to working with our new, or is it old, customer Luzius & Stuhff and the new management team and the new contacts we’ve made during this trade event.”

Mr Sexton added, “We have developed and evolved over the years. All businesses need to keep pace with international markets and trends.  We’ve invested significantly in innovation and technology, our partner farmers of Komgi and value adding to the cardamom and other spices by producing on site essential oils.  This has allowed us to keep the relationships working.

“We are now here seeking European buyers for our 100% natural 100% PNG VCO / essential oil infusions and the response from the trade contacts we’ve made at ANUGA shows that we’re on the right track.”

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Europe and the Pacific Trade booth are supported by funding provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For information on the upcoming SIAL 2018 please contact robyn.ekstrom@pifs-geneva.ch

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