Kava exporter produces evidence to counter tampering accusations

kava

Peter Colmar, owner of Santo kava export business Sarami Plantation has responded to criticism of what were labelled as his “tainted” kava exports a week ago. The allegations of impurities in Sarami shipments were made by European kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt in Germany and Vanuatu’s European Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy in Belgium. Colmar has angrily rejected the accusations of a week ago as “lies”, Daily Post reported on the weekend, and he produced gas chromatography data showing that his exported kava was a derived from a noble variety and contained only roots. There was some sympathy shown for Sarami and the Colmar position by the Agriculture Minister when contacted by Daily Post. He felt a cancellation of the exporter’s licence was not appropriate if the kava exported was of good quality. However, he said Read the rest of this entry »


Vt 200 million extra revenue expected by Ministry of Lands this year, says Regenvanu

Website of Vanuatu's Ministry of Land and Natural Resources

Website of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Land and Natural Resources

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources hopes to significantly increase revenue this year, Minister Ralph Regenvanu said on the lunchtime news on Radio Vanuatu today. About Vt 200 million extra revenue is expected this year, while expenditure will increase by about Vt 50 million. “And revenue is always growing,” confirmed Regenvanu, saying that this is confirmed by Read the rest of this entry »


Calls for kava exporter’s licence to be cancelled after US discovery of 60 tonnes of tainted kava

Tainted kava threatens Vanuatu's kava industry. Shown here is ground Vanuatu kava for sale by a US retailer

Tainted kava threatens Vanuatu’s kava export industry: shown here is ground Vanuatu kava sold by a US retailer

Adulterated kava exporting hits the headlines again. The Agriculture Minister and EU Ambassador are both calling for the kava export licence of Peter Colmar’s Sarami Plantation to be terminated. EU Ambassador Joy reports some 60 tonnes of tainted kava being shipped to four companies in the United States last year. It was all non-noble and non-root material. The ambassador’s research has been assisted by German kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt who helped in having the EU ban on kava from island countries lifted.

Len Garae reports Dr Schmidt saying as much as 28 tons of ground leaves and stalks went to one US importer, Kumars Import. Schmidt is quoted saying “I thought the Vanuatu Kava Act had been changed, but if someone like Sarami Plantation can sell such quantities without any consequences, there must be more than just one person closing their eyes. We need to stop this before Read the rest of this entry »


PM Salwai to launch new national sustainable development plan for next 15 years

Vanuatu 2030 development plan

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will be launching Vanuatu 2030, the country’s new Sustainable Development Plan next Wednesday 18th at 4:30 (not to be confused with the launch of the draft version of this report, which happened back in November last year). The Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination has been working on the plan for several years and was greatly aided by consultations with the people of all islands. A validation summit was held in November and the document is the successor to the Priorities Action Agenda of 2006. The new document has a strong foundation in culture. Vanuatu 2030 aims to chart the country’s vision and will serve as an over-arching policy framework for a sustainable, stable and prosperous Vanuatu.

Government is considering re-opening Palekula fishing base at Santo. Studies undertaken are said to have proven the idea Read the rest of this entry »


Market vendor strike ends; MPs receive Vt 290M gratuity payment

Back in business today: Port Vila's main market house. Photo: Wikimapia

Back in business today: Port Vila’s main market house. Photo: Wikimapia

Yesterday’s market vendor strike lasted just a day. Port Vila fresh produce markets are all open today. There sound to have been multiple misunderstandings, and the Vanuatu Daily Digest will await clarification by saying nothing more at this time.

The 52 members of the tenth legislature have received Vt 290 million between them as their gratuity for their term in office. The ex-politicians currently in prison for taking bribes also receive the termination severance fee. (Daily Post)

GJP MP for Tanna Andrew Napuat has publicly presented the accounts of his MP allocation to constituents, and like other GJP politicians he has invested heavily in school fees. In 2016, the MP spent Vt 1.3 million, contributing to the education of 36 students. His transparent financial reporting is said to be the Read the rest of this entry »


Port Vila residents without fresh produce as vendors close markets to protest fee hike

Port Vila's main market house: closed until further notice. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

Port Vila’s main market house: closed until further notice. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

It’s a protest which will certainly be noticed. Port Vila’s market vendors have shut down all urban markets in protest against the annual vendor fee going up by Vt 2,000 to Vt 12,000. Even the tiny peri-urban markets such as at the Korman roundabout. The extra fees are intended to finance changes to improve the main market in town for Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu kava export shipment returned from NZ due to contamination with impurities

kava shell

Happy new year to all our readers and welcome to 2017!

Vanuatu’s regional leadership of kava production and export has been dealt a blow with news this week of a shipment of adulterated kava being returned from New Zealand. Vanuatu’s primacy in the industry began with the recognition of Vanuatu as the original site of domestication of kava, the large number of noble kava varieties established here, and 2002’s Kava Act designed to protect consumers from poor quality kava. In 2016 Vanuatu was given responsibility for the FAO’s Codex Alimentarius research into the crop. Vanuatu’s main export competitor, Fiji, only established similar kava consumer protection legislation last year, and has many fewer noble varieties.

Over 600kg of dried, ground kava in a container exported by JPO Kava Export was returned from New Zealand as adulterated, reports Daily Post. Director of Vanuatu Biosecurity Dept Timothy Tumukon says the shipment looked to be mixed with ‘makas’—bark and root residue added to increase the Read the rest of this entry »