Pacific Island food and beverage exporters on a mission to promote boutique products

Small Pacific Island exporters face an uphill battle when competing against market giants such as China, USA, UK, Australia and even New Zealand.



But six exporters from the smallest island states of the Pacific will participate in an exploratory food and beverage trade mission to learn more about the landscape of the New Zealand market.

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) New Zealand has organised the Pacific Islands Small Islands States Food & Beverage Exploratory Mission for 9-13 November 2015 bringing six exporters from the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Niue, Nauru, Tuvalu and the Republic of Marshall Islands.

PT&I Trade Development Manager Teremoana Mato says small island states face many challenges with rising sea levels from climate change, shipping costs and distances to market but they continue to be resilient.

“Pacific exporters fight to survive on a daily basis but their small size can be an advantage because owners know every step of production and closely monitor the quality of their products,” he says.

The mission is the first PT&I Small Island States trade delegation to visit New Zealand for several years. The tailor made programme is industry specific focused on the food and beverage industries.

Delegates will attend workshops on NZ import regulations and processes to understand some of the technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements. They will also make site visits to biosecurity and customs departments, private sector importers and buyers, chefs and hospitality industry representatives to gain insights into the industry trends and opportunities from importers, distributors and retailers.

A bonus for the trade mission will be the opportunity to meet with some of New Zealand’s top Pacific Island chefs who will share their experiences of sourcing and using ingredients to create unique Pacific menus and dishes.

The project is a joint initiative by PT&I supported by the Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Programme under the European Union.