News 8 Jun 2018
Having lived in Vanuatu for more than three decades, Kiwi expat Cornelia Wyllie noticed what she calls ‘the feast and famine seasons’. As a farmer, and fierce advocate of organic self-sufficiency, Cornelia established her agribusiness Vanuatu Direct to reduce waste, ensure food security and improve the livelihoods of Ni-Vanuatu farmers.
Cornelia has built on the success of Vanuatu Direct through its branch-company Fine Foods Ltd, founded in 2016. Sustaining two food processing companies on an island nation consisting of more than 80 small islands is a remarkable feat. Cornelia herself remains modest.
“It’s not about me, but what Fine Foods stands for. It proudly adopts Hippocrates’ statement: ‘Let food be thy medicine’.
“As the CEO, I bring together and partner with growers within Vanuatu. My team share the same passion of ensuring the foods we create improves health.”
Cornelia calls Vanuatu the ‘nutraceutical capital of the South Pacific’. People may not be familiar with the term ‘nutraceutical’ but many will have seen countless dietary supplements readily available in chemists and supermarkets, all of which claim to be nutraceutical.
“Fine Foods has achieved what the food processing world considers the holy grail – a clean label. No chemicals, gums or guars, nothing artificial is added.”
It has five exportable food products listed on its website:
Due to its growing popularity with customers in New Zealand and Australia, Fine Foods is working on more products.
“For 2018 we’ve got ready-to-eat sea cucumbers, long-life kava, taro torpedoes, chestnuts and another juice. All high-end, all with a high nutraceutical value, all for a market that can’t get enough!”