Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand is working with tuna exporter Soltuna in the Solomon Islands to assist them to launch their canned tuna products in the New Zealand market.
In 2016, the canned tuna market in New Zealand has been valued at about $NZ50 million and has the potential to grow as more consumers embrace the positive health benefits that tuna consumption provides.
This provides a major opportunity for tuna exports to New Zealand from the Solomon Islands.
PTI recently visited Soltuna and met with Managing Director Adrian Wickam and the senior management team to further discuss launch plans for New Zealand. PTI is working with Soltuna on a launch strategy and identify buyers and distributors in New Zealand.
The Soltuna processing plant is located north of the capital Honiara and close to Munda in the country’s Western Province. Soltuna is among the country’s largest employers with more than 2,000 local staff of which 65 per cent are women.
Staff training is a major activity for Soltuna, which runs courses such as financial literacy, health and safety and food hygiene, among others. Many of the staff live in company provided housing located close to the processing plant.
The canned tuna market in New Zealand is currently dominated by two main brands which source their products from Thailand, where issues relating to lack of sustainability and poor labour practices on the fishing fleets have been well documented.
However, Soltuna has a clear competitive advantage in that it is internationally certified as a sustainable and well managed fishery with Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC).
Soltuna also holds BRC (British retailer certification) along Kosha, Halal, and Dolphin Safe certification and being located in the Pacific has easy access to the New Zealand market.
For more information email Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at email@example.com