Four Pacific Island businesses win top Innovator Awards

Four Pacific Island companies were amongst the top 15 of the Frontier Innovator Award handed out by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

gold cup winner on bokeh background, 3D illustration

The 15 companies were selected from 700 applications from Asia-Pacific region for offering innovative and unique solutions in a raft of areas including health, agriculture, education, environment, energy and technology.

Of the 15 – two were from Samoa – Nora’s Plantation Foods for cocoa products, SkyEye for digital tracking solutions; Taste of Tonga, a coconut oil company focusing on waste minimisation, Mamma’s Laef from Vanuatu for feminine hygiene products.  The other 11 came from countries such as the Indonesia, Netherlands, Cambodia, Philippines, Pakistan and Myanmar.

Winners get up to AUD$100,000 in grant funding, expert assistance and support, advice and access to potential partners and investors.

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade has congratulated the efforts of Pacific Island businesses.

“We are pleased to see this progress and the on floe of economic benefits it brings the Pacific.  Whilst it might seem odd for PTI New Zealand to be actively congratulating Pacific companies who have done well in Australia – it is has been long established that while New Zealand is often the first country of export, many companies gain confidence from this first step and as they also build critical mass, the natural progression is next step Australia!

PTI NZ has worked with one of the top companies, Nora’s Plantation Foods Limited at the Auckland Food Show and Fine Food Show.  Pacific Periscope also reported on SkyEye after they attended a Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) event in Auckland.

PTI Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao said, “We congratulate these companies from the Pacific Islands on achieving the Frontier Innovators Award. It is great to see a growing number of companies from the Pacific Islands competing for this award,”

Three other Pacific Island finalists notable for being “some of the most impactful businesses from across the Asia-Pacific.”

These included, Artisan Culture of Papua New Guinea for providing a marketplace and capacity building for cultural PNG products, Bula Coffee from Fiji who partners with local Fijian producers to produce coffee for local and international agricultural and eco-tourism markets and Varivao, Solomon Islands for sourcing and exporting agricultural commodities and building capacity amongst farmers.

Artisan Culture was part of the PTI NZ Path to Market programme at its Pasifika Business Market this year.  PTI NZ also worked with Varivao in 2015 as part of the IACT food and beverage trade mission in 2015 and Bula Coffee came to a previous Path to Market Workshop in Fiji.

The PTI network assists export ready Pacific companies to enter the New Zealand market and helps match investors with opportunities in the Pacific.

For more information on PTI NZ please contact: Joe Fuavao, Trade Development Manager on

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