Pacific Islands Trade and Invest hosted 11 Pacific Island exporters from seven different countries including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu at Fine Food Australia in Melbourne, Australia recently.
Pacific Islands Trade and Invest (PT&I) is the region’s leading export facilitation, investment and tourism promotion agency whose focus is on export-capable businesses and the international promotion and support of exporters in the Pacific island countries. PT&I is an arm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
Fine Food Australia has cemented its reputation as Australia’s only truly international event for the food and beverage industry in Australia. The event is the largest gathering of food and drink product for international retail, foodservice and hospitality industries.(See www.finefood.com.au/)
This was only the second year that PT&I participated with a Pacific pavilion at the event, following last year’s successful inaugural participation in Sydney.
The Pacific Islands stand saw a visit by US Ambassador to Australia, Mr.Jeffrey Bleich who expressed interest in vanilla and coconut oil as well as the health benefits of products such as coconut oil.
Outcomes from Fine Food Australia include new distribution agreements being put in place for Pacific Island companies who had not previously exported to Australia, orders being taken and sales made for over AUD$34,000 over the course of the four days and each exhibitor had a number of leads to follow up after the show had finished.
The Pacific Islands stand this year showcased a range of products from Vanilla, Virgin Coconut Oil, Coffee, Chocolate and Cacao Nibs.
Participating companies and entrepreneurs from around the Pacific Islands region included Ian Jones, Taste of Tonga (Coconut Oil) of Tonga; Jacqui Wood, Ethica Coffee, from PNG; Theresa Areq, Amruqa, PNG (Coconut Oil); Eddie Wilson, Wilex Samoa, (Cacao Nibs, Hot chocolate); Jennifer Boggiss, Heilala Vanilla, (Vanilla Extract, Paste, Syrup, Sugar & Beans), Tonga; Peni Drodrolagi, Origins Pacific (Fiji Mana Brand Virgin Coconut Oil), Fiji; PieroBiianchessi, Venui Vanilla, Vanuatu; Stella Muller, Hot Samoan Boys Chilli, Hot Chilli Sauce, Samoa; Dan & Richard Etherington, Kokonut Pacific (Coconut Oil), Solomon Islands; Stanley Kalauni, Niue Vanilla International (Vanilla), Niue and Terry Adlington, Tanna Coffee, Vanuatu.
Thanking PT&I’s efforts at facilitating participation at the show, Stella Muller of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauces of Samoa said: “It has been the single most successful trade event to date, that we have been a part of. We now have two companies in Australia who have expressed interest to be our distributors in Australia.”
The participants were appreciative of the role that the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and its Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) program and Chris Cocker, IACT Export Marketing Officer, played in their participation at this high profile show and event.
For many participants this was one of the biggest platforms on which to showcase their wares.
“I am impressed at this showcase and to see the calibre of fine food enterprises and cuisine showcased by the hospitality service industry. I’d like to encourage Pacific enterprises in the agro-processing industries in the Pacific to make every effort to work with PT&I Auckland and Sydney to be part of future shows,” said Ian Jones of Taste of Tonga, who participated at the Show.
Niue Organic Vanilla’s Stanley Kalauni said: “Fine Foods 2012 has given our business the opportunity to establish genuine contacts and more upper end buyers and distributors.”
Eddie Wilson, Managing Director, Wilex Samoa, which exports chocolate and cocoa from Samoa said: “I am amazed at the potential and opportunities available at this show. I’ve had two companies come to me that want to have JV arrangements with my chocolate company in Samoa.”
“I did not appreciate what such a show could do to my business until I totally reassessed how precious my involvement has been at this show…. this allowed me to look at the Asian market also,” said Jacqui Wood, of Ethica Coffee, PNG. “I will definitely recommend this to other Pacific enterprises.”
Pacific Islands Trade and Invest in conjunction with SPC’s IACT programme will again be hosting Pacific Island exporters at the next Fine Food Australia from 9 – 12 September 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
For more information contact Mr Jeremy Grennell, Export Services Manager, Pacific Islands Trade and Invest on phone: + 61 2 9290 2133 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and Paula Bjelanovic, Administration and Events Coordinator, Pacific Islands Trade and Invest on phone: + 61 2 9290 2133 or email: email@example.com
Captions for photos: (left -right)
Jacqui Wood (left) – Owner of Ethica Coffee in PNG with Trade Commissioner Caleb Jarvis
Stella Muller from Hot! Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce
Vannilla from Niue Exhibited at Fine Food in Australia.