Foodex Japan is the largest food and beverage trade fair in Asia. This year it was held at the sprawling Makuhari Messe-International Convention Complex in Chiba, in early March. It was the event’s 44th year. Pacific Islands Centre (PIC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s trade office in Tokyo, Japan, encouraged and supported four Pacific Island food and beverage export companies to participate in the event.
“PIC implemented support measures for those candidate companies, in cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, to realise their setting up a booth in ‘World Food Market’ in the JETRO Zone which was organised by JETRO,” said a spokesperson from PIC. JETRO is the acronym for Japan External Trade Organisation.
The JETRO Zone is a pavilion hosted by JETRO in FoodEx Japan every year since 1997 as a support programme for fostering food and drink industry in emerging economies. It also serves as a platform to establish stronger relationships between those countries and Japan by offering the opportunities to enter the Japanese market.
JETRO has introduced food and drinks of the total number of 1,500 companies from about 100 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe & CIS, Middle East and Oceania.
In 2019, JETRO ZONE involved the participation of 49 companies from 28 countries.
The four participating Pacific Island companies were Niugini Organics from Papua New Guinea, which showcased coconut oil and nuts; Natural Foods International Limited from Samoa displayed breadfruit, banana powder, vegetable chips, taro and flavoured tea while Aelan Chocolate from Vanuatu and Tobolar Copra Processing Authority from the Federated States of Micronesia displayed chocolate and coconut oil respectively.
Niugini Organics is an accredited producer and processor under the Organic Food Chain Pty Ltd gaining certification for 100 per cent organic coconuts back in 2009. The company previously exhibited at PTI Australia’s Pacific booth at Fine Food Australia and at the SIAL food show in Europe coordinated by PTI Europe, both in 2016.
Vanuatu’s AELAN Chocolates won international recognition at the International Chocolate Salon – Artisan Chocolate Awards in 2018 with two gold, five silver medals and one bronze medal in the Best Vegan Chocolate and Top Spicy Chocolate Awards. PTI New Zealand has worked closely with Aelan and helped host them at trade shows in Auckland as part of the Path to Market programme.
Tobolar Copra Processing Authority is an enterprise of the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). It processes copra and manufactures, distributes and exports a range of products derived from coconuts from its plant located in Majuro, the capital of the RMI. Tobolar attended the PTI NZ Pacific Path to Market Programme workshop in Majuro in 2016 and showcased its products at Pasifika 2017 in Auckland as part of the programme.
“We hope this opportunity provided a spark for starting business between Japan and those four countries and we would like to convey our sincere gratitude for the concerned parties,” the spokesperson from PIC said.
For more information on the companies, email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at firstname.lastname@example.org