Opening Europe’s trade door for Pacific Island food company

Foods Pacific Group (FPG) is one of Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) Geneva’s success stories.


Pacific Island participants at a food fair in Europe.

Foods Pacific Group has made the most of opportunities provided by PT&I Geneva to showcase its products to European and global buyers through major European trade show.

As a result of exhibiting on the PT&I Geneva Pacific Islands Trade booths at SIAL Paris 2014 and ANUGA 2015 in Cologne, Germany, Foods Pacific Group has successfully established export sales to 5 new markets and is looking forward to SIAL Paris 2016 to further build on these commercial partnerships as well as seeking out new opportunities.

Foods Pacific Groups’ Business Development Manager Hoshedar Poonawalla said, “Taking part and exhibiting on the PT&I Pacific Islands booths at SIAL or ANUGA provides a cost effective opportunity to present our products and meet a large number of genuine buyers and distributors from all over the world. These trade shows attract over 150,000 trade visitors over five days and although they are exhausting the results are well worth the investment and effort.”

The PT&I network has a well-established history of working in partnership with Foods Pacific Group, one of Fiji’s largest and most proactive family-owned private companies.

Since 2013, PT&I Geneva has assisted the Foods Pacific enter five new markets and consolidate and build their export business in the United Kingdom.

“Making contact with the buyer and receiving that first order is of course important, but the real goal is to generate repeat sales to achieve sustainable growth. It is necessary to have a long term view, establish credibility and constantly work with and communicate with the buyer so that they can grow their customer base, Mr Poonawala said. “In real terms, it is a partnership. That is how you receive second, third and repeat orders. Keeping and growing business with an importer is much easier and more cost effective than finding new customers!”

In terms of partnerships Mr Poonawalla says, “We are fortunate to have an excellent UK representative and a partner organisation in Europe such as PT&I which understands commercial trade and provides practical support for export growth. The PT&I Europe office is of course very small, being only one person but Ms Ekstrom understands business and uses her resources creatively to help us and other Pacific businesses with European market expansion.”

Founded in 1980, the Foods Pacific Group produces many different food lines, including ready to eat products, meals, sauces, spices, yoghurts and foodservice products.

With considerable foresight and systematic investment in plant, equipment and R&D, Foods Pacific Group stringently follow ISO 22000 and HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points), FDA (USA Food & Drug Administration) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) requirements in their food manufacturing and factory production processes; ensuring compliance with all international standards and the production of high quality and safe food products for consumers worldwide.

In 2012 the group made a strategic decision to establish an office in the United Kingdom; a market in which ethnic products and Indian cuisines enjoy high levels of acceptance and are well established.  From this base, and with assistance for marketing and promotional materials from PT&I Geneva, the Taste of India branded range of simmer sauces and pastes was introduced to the UK grocery market through the expansive network of Bestway’s and Batley’s Group.

The work required for product and packaging modification to meet UK requirements and customer expectations was extensive and the first commercial sales took place in 2014. Sales have progressively increased, Mr Poonawalla revealed.

For more information, please email Ms Robyn Ekstrom, PT&I Geneva Trade Promotion Adviser on



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