Local company to export Vanuatu food products to Australia

The Pacific Imports company, has this week signed an agreement with the Vanuatu Government to start exporting Vanuatu food products to Australia – starting with taro, yam and cassava.

The company has been operating for 11 years to export ‘Vanuatu Made’ products in partnership with various Vanuatu government agencies and Ni Vanuatu producers.

The Ministry of Trade’s Acting Manager for Marketing, Donald Pelam, says the agreement is based on hard work by the ministry and Pacific Imports to promote ‘Vanuatu Made’ products in overseas markets.

He says the agreement will help Vanuatu to step-in and “fill the gap” in supplying products such as taro, yam and cassava to Australia, when existing Pacific country suppliers are unable to meet demand.

Mr Pelam says growing the export market will be challenging, but he believes once Vanuatu kicks-off the export of taro, yam and cassava, the export of other products will follow.

Julian Ligo, Pacific Imports’ Chief Executive Officer, says the signing of the agreement with the ministry is a green light for the company to start exporting products to Australia.

“The agreement that we have signed recognises us as a distributing agent and we will need to ensure we meet market demand,” Mr Ligo said.

“The contract also ensures that the local food we will export is healthy and good quality.

“Samples of taro, yam and cassava will be the first samples of local food to be sent to Brisbane, probably next week” Mr Ligo said.

Mr Ligo signed the agreement on behalf of Pacific Imports with the Acting Director General for the Ministry of Trade, Jimmy Rantes.

Earlier this month the Vanuatu Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, launched the start of the export of ‘Vanuatu Made’ fruit to Australia by the Santo-based Tropical Fruits Vanuatu company.

Late last year, the Prime Minister also launched the export of frozen taro and manioc to New Zealand.

Vanuatu’s Ministry of Trade wants to further develop what it says are high-demand Australian and New Zealand markets for Vanuatu produce.

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