Industry Advice 14 Mar 2018
Fiji AgroMarketing and Copra Millers will participate at the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Pasifika Business Market at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland, New Zealand on March 24-25.
In September last year, PTI NZ facilitated a Fijian Government mission to New Zealand that brought officials of Fiji AgroMarketing (AMA) to investigate a range of tools to assess parameters from the value of root crops, the types of root crops demanded, marketing and the development of new recipes and support from celebrity chefs.
PTI Trade Development manager Ian Furlong had then said that the visit highlighted the Ministry of Agriculture’s serious commitment to building a sustainable and formal export industry to New Zealand.
Earlier, in 2016, PTI NZ facilitated a formal supply agreement between Fiji AgroMarketing and Supa Save Supermarkets in Auckland.
“I feel so privileged and excited to be invited to showcase Fiji Agricultural Marketing Authority products for the first time at Pasifika,” says Mere-Kini Salusalu, AMA’s Technical Services manager.
AMA will be displaying its ‘Premium Kava’ and Virgin Coconut Oil packaged in glass bottles.
“Kava is the traditional and ceremonial drink in Fiji and the other Pacific Islands. This will be a great opportunity to attract potential kava drinkers and importers to test and taste AMA Premium Kava just like they are in their own Pasifika Islands,” Ms Salusalu told Pacific Periscope.
“However, most Pacific islanders in New Zealand have lost touch drinking the real premium quality kava — AMA will promote the best premium kava during the festival,” she added.
Ms Salusalu sees Pasifika as an opportunity to elevate Fiji’s reputation at regional and international levels as a producer and supplier of quality AMA Premium Kava and provide a business platform “to our very own Pasifika islanders about our two products.”
AMA’s Virgin Coconut Oil is pressed from organically grown island coconut plantations is tested at an accredited University of South Pacific Laboratory and bottled for international markets, she said.
Ms Salusalu acknowledged PTI NZ’s role in facilitating AMA’s participation at Pasifika. “This is an excellent networking opportunity in collaborating the untapped potential of exporters around the Pacific islands to promote existing exportable products,” she said.
AMA is an alumnus of the PTI NZ Path to Market programme and Ms Salusalu also acknowledged her organisation’s participation in the programme through Fiji Export Council, which is PTI’s Economic Development Agency partner in Fiji for the programme.
“I am sure this visit will also create new business and marketing opportunities for AMA for both existing and new exportable products to New Zealand,” Ms Salusalu, who will be in Auckland for the Pasifika Festival, said.
Copra Millers Fiji
Copra Millers is a State-owned Enterprise (SoE) of the Fiji Government. In pursuit of meeting the rising demand for coconuts and coconut products, it has recently set up a new integrated plant in Savusavu that makes a variety of coconut products from the much-in-demand virgin coconut oil (VCO) to desiccated coconut and cosmetics and wellness products.
Creating a range of value added products is part of the strategy.
Desiccated coconut, coconut milk powder and other food and beverage products derived from the versatile coconut are all part of the product mix.
Additionally, soaps, massage oils, skincare oils and creams as well as several more wellness products with the ‘Fiji Made’ are rolling out of the integrated plant.
Copra Millers, which is an alumnus of the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Path to Market programme, has begun exporting its products.
And as part of it, Copra Millers is participating at the PTI Pasifika Business Market during Auckland’s Pasifika Festival later this month.
“We are excited to be part of the Pacific Festival and showcase our products.
“It would be a great opportunity for us to showcase our products to greater audience and network with potential buyers and visitors,” says John Deo Copra Millers general manager.
The company will primarily focus on Virgin Coconut Oil and Crude Coconut Oil – two products that are much in demand.
“We expect to find potential buyers of our products and also spread awareness on the health benefit of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) during the festival,” Mr Deo said.
VCO is produced using cold press technology, where no chemicals, heat or additional processing are used therefore preserving the natural nutrients, antioxidants and the important lauric acid component naturally present in the oil, which is believed to possess anti-viral and anti-microbial properties once metabolised in the human body.
Being a SoE gives the business social responsibility imperatives, working closely with communities across the country, women’s groups and other disadvantaged sections of society, Mr Deo said.
Ian Furlong, PTI Trade Development Manager in Auckland said PTI has been assisting Copra Millers Fiji.
“We were able to provide marketing advice for the VCO product which was about creating a story about the product, including it on the labelling and ensuring that the packaging was designed for easy access to the product as in colder climates such as New Zealand, where the VCO can easily solidify,” Mr Furlong said.
“PTI is doing great job in connecting Pacific businesses to potential buyers overseas. [They] also assist in [identifying] the type of packaging preferred by buyers, quality analysis, labeling contents and shipping logistics information.
“We look forward to attend the festival and display and sell our products and meet potential buyers and network with all visitors to our booth,” Mr Deo said.
Niu Venture Forests
Niu Venture Forests is a Fijian family-owned company based in Suva.
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 and 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 per cent food safe,” Mr Pickering told Pacific Periscope.
Christine Pickering, one of the company’s directors, who was chosen by the 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 Ministry of Forestry’s’ Timber Utilisation Department to learn how to best utilise the timber resource.
An alumnus of the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Path to Market programme, Mr Pickering said: “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.”
Makala Natural Lumpwood Charcoal
A small Fijian family charcoal supplies business will product test its new packaging at Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ’s Pacific Business Market at Pasifika Festival.
The new packaging is the next step for Makala Natural Lumpwood Charcoal to enter New Zealand’s export market after attending the Path to Market workshop in Fiji.
PTI NZ attracted more than 300 companies to its Path to Market workshops in 2017.
The workshops are an important step towards understanding the New Zealand export market.
It is the first stage of a structured process for Pacific exporters or potential exporters.
Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand PTI NZ met Rusiate Charcoal supplies during a Path to Market Workshop in Fiji hosted by Ian Furlong and PTI Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade.
The workshops are a series of seminars that help potential exporters understand the New Zealand market.
Makala Natural Lumpwood charcoal is the brand name used by Fiji’s Rusiate Charcoal supplies.
The barbecue charcoal is in high demand locally in Fiji used daily for cooking.
Although they started by producing industrial grade charcoal which is sold internationally, they also added barbeque charcoal of which will be showcased at Pacific Business Market.
Makala Natural charcoal is made from untreated hardwood timber off-cuts bought from the nearby timber sawmills and processed into charcoal cubes.
Ms Vunisei, a USP science graduate will be part of Fiji’s Path to Market delegation of seven companies showcasing at the Pacific Business Market at Pasifika Festival.
For company Makala Natural Lumpwood charcoal representative Emele Vunisei, attending this year’s Pasifika Festival will be bittersweet.
Her father and company founder, the late Rusiate Rawaidranu (53) sadly passed away last Thursday, 22 February in Fiji from a kidney condition. It was a condition he lived with for 24 years since being diagnosed in 1994.
But the legacy lives on from the late Mr Rawaidranu who founded Rusiate Charcoals Supplies business in 2009.
His children, Emele and her two brothers and four sisters some of whom also work in the family business.
It’s a family affair with Emele’s 27-year-old brother Vonivate, a Bachelor of Science graduate himself, helping his late father run the business.
As a student, Vonivate researched the mass production of charcoal without the age-old method of wood burning in open pits. It was a process he ran past his late father.
The business first started charcoal production in a place close-by to their family village.
In time, with higher demand they leased land from the local Mataqali to expand the business.
The process of producing charcoal involved scientific methods.
The long burning charcoal is done through open-air burning that takes place only when weather permits under supervision resulting in local daily deliveries.
After finding the most efficient methods to make charcoal, production times have reduced from one day producing 10 bags to half a day producing 60 bags.
They now also employ 16 core staff down from 26 to 27 in the early days.
Not only popular amongst locals, some travellers are known to pick up a bag on a stopover.