Milne Bay Organics is one of seven Papua New Guinea small businesses attending the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Path to Market programme in Auckland from 4-9 April next month. They will be showcasing their products at the Path to the Pacific Trade Show at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront on April 6.

Co-founder and owner of this 100% locally owned and operated business, Rhona Conn, attended her first — and the inaugural Path to Market Workshop for Alotau, Milne Bay Province — in 2018.

Milne Bay Organics was identified as a potential manufacturer and exporter and was invited to continue to the next stage of the Path to Market programme in Auckland.

It was an exciting entrée into exporting. This year Milne Bay Organics trialled their first vanilla export shipment to Singapore in November 2018 and also into New Zealand by mid-2019, but also maintain retail presence through their humble gift shop in Alotau and mail order of smaller products like Virgin Coconut oils and Roasted coffee packs to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Their Facebook page is used as their virtual online shop front for now until their ecommerce platforms are being developed. One of the products you will find are their reseller packages containing a mixture Virgin Coconut oils and Coffee packages or can be fully customised to suit shoppers’ budgets from a starting price equivalent of NZ$100 per pack. Their Organic Arabica Coffee Body and Facial scrubs are made using a blend of freshly roasted coffee, virgin coconut oil and infused oils such as neem and moringa oils and are sold in 30g, 50g and 250g glass jars. They also do products such as pure coconut cooking oils in 375ml, 500mls glass bottles and a 3.75Ltr bulk PET containers.

Their raw produce is sourced from local villagers throughout the Milne Bay Province in PNG. Local youth, women and grassroots are part of the value adding process in the hope of boosting their entrepreneurial activities and providing them a pathway to economic independence. To ensure community inclusion Milne Bay Organics also offer Training Services in coconut oil, rope and charcoal making, basic coffee production, financial literacy, crop management and quality assurance and market expectations and demand. Participants are only required to their own raw materials for training purposes.

The Path to Market programme is a multi-staged structured approach to assisting exporters and potential exporters to understand the New Zealand market.

For more information please contact Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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