Island products spark interest at Fine Food NZ

Cocoa, spices, kava and gluten free flour from the Pacific Islands added an exotic flavour to the Fine Food NZ show in Auckland last week. These products along with several others from the islands were displayed at a specially designed stand with a distinct Pacific Island flavour. The show is New Zealand’s premier international trade exhibition for the food service, hospitality, and retail industries.

PT&I NZ's Joe Fuavao talks to a visitor at the PT&I Pacific Islands stand at the Fine Food NZ Show in Auckland last week.
PT&I NZ’s Joe Fuavao talks to a visitor at the PT&I Pacific Islands stand at the Fine Food NZ Show in Auckland last week.

Products from a dozen companies across five Pacific Islands were displayed at the show. Participation at the show was a joint initiative between PT&I and The Produce Company, a food and beverage distributor in New Zealand with an interest in products from the Pacific Islands. The company supplies top restaurants, cafés & bars, corporates, caterers and super yachts in New Zealand.

Displayed products included premium Arabica coffee from Papua New Guinea; flavoured kava shots, breadfruit flour and coconut water from Fiji; an assortment of chocolates from the Solomon Islands; Nangai nuts, cassava flour, certified organic spices from Vanuatu; and coconut oil and cocoa cubes from Samoa.

The products generated considerable interest from trade visitors, according to Joe Fuavao PT&I Trade Development Manager. Mr Fuavao and Haukura Jones, PT&I Office Administrator, were at PT&I’s Pacific Islands stand at the show, which more than 7000 high quality trade visitors are estimated to have attended.

Trade visitors were appreciative of the vastly improved standard of the design and packaging of Pacific origin products.

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Joe Fuavao and Haukura Jones at the Fine Food NZ show.

“Fine Foods New Zealand gave us the opportunity to connect directly with the key people in the industry. We met chefs, café owners, distributors and retailers all who impressed by the range and packaging of the products and expressed an interest in sourcing from the Pacific Islands,” says Mr Fuavao.

As well as PT&I’s Pacific Islands stand, a number of Pacific Island products were displayed and sampled at other independent stands. One such participant, Stanley Kalauni of Niue Vanilla, which earlier began participating in food shows in PT&I’s Pacific Islands stands, told Pacific Periscope “Niue Vanilla now has the critical mass to have our own stand, having participated in the collective Pacific Islands stand in past years.”

Stanley Kalauni (right) of Niue Vanilla.
Stanley Kalauni (right) of Niue Vanilla.

Some of the companies whose products were displayed at PT&I’s Pacific Islands stand are participants in the PT&I Path to Market (P2M) programme. P2M is PT&I’s export capability building programme that combines the range of export facilitation services and expertise provided by PT&I to help export ready and export capable businesses enter new export markets. The programme is an extended business model that covers a series of methodical steps that are delivered in partnership by PT&I NZ and an Economic Development Agency in each country.

The P2M programme begins with workshops, which are an assessment of export capability vis-à-vis requirements of the New Zealand market. In a six step process, the workshops are followed up with building a strong strategic link to the local economic development partner; organising a sales mission to New Zealand; applying learnings from the sales mission; introducing exporters to prospective buyers and distributors in New Zealand; and feedback analyses, quantification of deals and follow up to B2B meetings.

Participation in shows like Fine Food NZ is the third of the P2M six stage process.

For more information contact PT&I Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao at joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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