Pacific island exporters were all abuzz about their experience at the Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) Pacific Island stand at Fine Food Australia recently.

PT&I's Pacific Island stand drew impressive crowds at the Fine Food Australia Show in Melbourne.

PT&I’s Pacific Island stand drew impressive crowds at the Fine Food Australia Show in Melbourne.

For some of the 11 Pacific Island exporters who were invited to be part of the PT&I Pacific Islands stand at Fine Food Australia in Melbourne, it was their first time at one of the biggest Food shows in the Southern Hemisphere. This year’s show attracted 1000 Australian and international exhibitors and over 26,800 visitors from 60 countries across the four-day event held from 12-15 September.

The Pacific Island exporters included products from chocolate and cacao nibs from Solomon Islands, chocolate, cacao drink; coconut cream and palusami from Samoa, beer, gluten free flour and roasted canarium nuts and chutney from Vanuatu to coffee from Vanuatu – all beautifully packaged and aimed at the discerning buyers.

Jeremy Grennell, PT&I General Manager Exports and Paula Bjelanovic, PT&I Creative Arts & Events Manager were both pleased with the positive feedback from the participants. Participants were asked to provide feedback from the show and overall were happy with the number of positive leads and contacts generated by attending Fine Food. PT&I had showcased Pacific island exporters and products over the past six years and the focus and momentum was continuing to grow he said.

A participating company from Vanuatu at PT&I's Pacific Islands stand at the Fine Food Australia show in Melbourne.

A participating company from Vanuatu at PT&I’s Pacific Islands stand at the Fine Food Australia show in Melbourne.

One company was pleased at the positive customer feedback from customers, enthusiasts and international traders at the event.  Another participant said the PT&I Pacific Island stand allowed them to attend an international event where they might otherwise be unable to attend such a large event.

The exhibitors at Fine Food Australia were FRIEND Fiji – Fiji, Popo Savaií, Ola Pacifica, Samoan Koko – Samoa, Tusker Beer, Lapita Café, Vanuatu Direct, Vanuatu Coconut Cream – Vanuatu, Solomons Gold, Solomon Islands, Banz Kofi, Niugini Organics – Papua New Guinea and Punjas Biscuits from Fiji.

Six of the 11 Pacific Island companies and their products were also selected to feature in the New Product Showcase where products are exhibited outside in the foyer of the Melbourne Convention Centre allowing members of the public to view products in what is essentially a Trade Only event.

Mr Grennell earlier said PT&I Pacific stand was an opportunity for exporters to attract Australian and international buyers to engage one on one in a focussed environment.

“It is an ideal forum for Pacific Island premium niche products at such a high profile show and an opportunity to check out the global competition.”

Here is some of the feedback received from the participating companies:

“… We really enjoyed the whole week and it was awesome to meet other PI businesses as well.  Thank you for making it such a memorable and enjoyable time.” – Ola Pacifica

“This show gives us high hopes as we received positive feedback…” – Vanuatu Brewing Limited.

“…Without this it would be impossible for companies like mine to get exposure and education we need to grow…Thank you to all involved in both Australia and New Zealand.” – Banz Kofi

For more information, please contact Jeremy Grennell, Pacific Trade & Invest General Manager Exports on jeremy.grennell@pacifictradeinvest.com

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