PTI Europe opens EU market for Fijian company

Robyn Ekstrom, Trade Promotion Advisor, Europe, sent Pacific Periscope a good news story on Food Pacific’s Taste of India simmer sauces tapping into the Swiss market.

Hans-Herbert Remund, Hoshedar Poonawala and Robyn Ekstrom

Fijian company Foods Pacific’s Taste of India brand of simmer sauces and heat and eat vegetarian dishes could soon be available on supermarket shelves in Switzerland.

“Developing a business relationship takes time and dedication,” said Ms Robyn Ekstrom, Trade Promotion Adviser, PTI Europe.

“I’ve been working with Mr Hoshedar Poonawalla, Business Development Manger for Fijian manufacturer and exporter, Foods Pacific Ltd for a number of years now and I’m always inspired by his tenacity and diligence in developing new customer relationships and markets in Europe and the UK.”

Mr Poonawalla said, “Although making contact with a potential buyer is absolutely critical, making the contact is simply the starting point.

“Taking part and exhibiting on PTI Europe’s Pacific Trade booth at ANUGA or SIAL gives us an excellent platform and allows companies like ours to make those contacts, but I’m here in Switzerland to take a ‘next step’.

“In the six months that have passed since I met Hans-Herbert Remund, the Chief Marketing Officer of Maestral AG at ANUGA 2017, we’ve provided range samples, assessments for market suitability have been undertaken by the field team, numerous emails have been exchanged and we’ve been maintaining our discussions with assistance from PTI Europe.”

Maestral AG is a Swiss high-performing importing and distribution company specialising in International food, drink and non-food items from Southern and Eastern Europe and Asia.

“It is May and we have just had a face to face meeting at Maestral’s offices in Switzerland. I’m really happy with the progress and outcome. Maestral operates very much on a transparent basis. Hans took Ms Ekstrom and me to meet with several customers to get a feel for their expectations, how the ‘Taste of India’ range compares with competitor and substitute products and could fit into the brand offering.”

With over 25 years of operations, a highly professional and experienced field team, modern warehousing facilities and a fleet of their own trucks with the ability to deliver throughout Switzerland in less than 24 hours and a well-established customer network of over 900 retailers, specialist shops and hospitality and catering businesses in both Switzerland and many parts of Europe, Maestral is a sought-after partner.

“The next step in the process is to complete all the compliance, testing and due diligence on the products to ensure that there are no issues that could impact negatively. Preparation is key with any market and you really need to get it right,” Mr Remund said.

“I don’t think people realise, but before a product even hits the shelf there has been an investment of thousands from both the supplier and the importer/distributor.”

It is hoped that ‘Taste of India’ products will be included in Maestral’s Swiss buyer meetings scheduled to take place later in 2018.

For more information please contact Robyn Ekstrom, Trade Promotion Advisor, Europe, at

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