Niu Venture Forests is a Fijian family-owned company based in Suva, with operations in both of Fiji’s major islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
The company has two core businesses: One is a timber processing and profiling business that follows sustainable harvesting practices with efficient utilisation of the company’s existing industry infrastructure. The second core business, Kavara Woodart, focuses on the value addition of forestry products to maximise the full potential of the timber resource.
Kavara Woodart is the brand name given to the products created from the value-adding initiatives of the company. It creates unique earthy line of products consisting of wooden kitchen accessories, which include cheese platters, serving platters, cutting boards, placemats, personalised plaques, coasters and table runners among others. These products will be featured at Pasifika next month.
Company Director Warren Pickering says the company is excited at the idea of displaying its products at Pasifika.
“Kavara Woodart will be displaying and selling 100 per cent Fiji Grown & Crafted wooden kitchen accessories. These kitchen accessories include serving platters, cutting boards, coasters, plaques, etc. All feature Pacific artwork burned into the wood and finished with natural oil making it 100% food safe,” Mr Pickering told Pacific Periscope.
Christine Pickering, one of the company’s directors, who was chosen by the Fijian Ministry of Women to attend a workshop in Indonesia hosted by the Citputra Foundation, brought back many innovative and creative business ideas on how to best utilise the company’s timber resource. Christine is the pioneering force behind Kavara Woodart and through her efforts the company hopes to empower more women and disadvantaged people in the timber industry through value adding.
Kavara Woodart has been successful in exporting its products overseas in the form of Authentic Fijian gifts.
“At Pasifika, we hope to gain exposure in the New Zealand market, especially amongst the growing affluent Pacific community. We also hope to meet businesses who will be interested to showcase our products in the New Zealand market,” Mr Pickering said.
Niu Venture Forests currently supplies profiled Vesi and Mahogany such as flooring and lining products to the local markets, especially tourism operators. The company has also ventured into waste utilisation ensuring that the timber is used to its full potential as there is a lot of wastage once the logs have been ripped into timber. The company has been working closely with the Fijian Ministry of Forestry’s’ Timber Utilisation Department to learn how to best utilize the timber resource.
An alumnus of the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Path to Market programme, Mr Pickering says, “I think PTI is playing a fundamental role is facilitating opportunities for Pacific based companies to have a chance at entering the New Zealand market and establishing a foothold.”