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 »


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 »


Air Vanuatu Twin Otter cable snap incident under investigation

File photo of an Air Vanuatu Twin Otter at Gaua Airport. Photo: Olivier Morice/Wikimedia Commons

File photo of an Air Vanuatu Twin Otter at Gaua Airport. Photo: Olivier Morice/Wikimedia Commons

The broken cable which caused “technical difficulties” with the Twin Otter plane at Walaha just over a week ago is being investigated. Air Vanuatu, Vanuatu Civil Aviation and Civil Aviation NZ are conducting the inquiry. The cable was manufactured in New Zealand. The break was potentially very serious, but occurred just as the plane was landing and the pilot handled the matter majestically, Air Vanuatu advises. Good news for Air Vanuatu safety at the same time is the airline’s passing of its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). CEO Joseph Laloyer said the results of the 2016 audit were the best ever achieved by the company. (Daily Post)

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Opinion: PACER Plus is a poor deal for Vanuatu businesses that we should walk away from

Vanuatu says no to PACER Plus

As negotiations for PACER Plus, the proposed regional free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island Countries draw to a close, we can now see what it contains—and more importantly, what it means for Vanuatu producers. Read the rest of this entry »


Pacific Forum Island Countries’s Chief Trade Adviser declares his independence

Ghanaian lawyer Dr Edwini Kessie – Chief Trade Adviser for OCTA. Photo: OCTA

Ghanaian lawyer Dr Edwini Kessie – Chief Trade Adviser for OCTA. Photo: OCTA

The Chief Trade adviser for the Forum Island Countries, Dr Edwin Kessie, defends the integrity of his position and denies he or his office takes instructions from Australia or New Zealand, he says Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu Govt eyes positives of PACER Plus as national consultation opens

How much will Vanuatu export commodities benefit from Pacer Plus? These details are yet to be worked out. Photo: Tanna Coffee

How much will Vanuatu export commodities benefit from Pacer Plus? These details are yet to be worked out. Photo: Tanna Coffee

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Cabinet meets to discuss position on PACER Plus

Port Vila stallholder Elsie wants her rights protected from PACER Plus. Photo: PANG

Port Vila stallholder Elsie wants her rights protected from PACER Plus. Photo: PANG

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