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True Pacific – launch of a regional brand

Press Release – True Pacific

Demand for Pacific produced products is set to grow, with the launch of a major initiative today to strengthen export opportunities for Pacific Island producers. True Pacific is a project being driven by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation to help bring the … 5 September 2011

True Pacific – launch of a regional brand

Demand for Pacific produced products is set to grow, with the launch of a major initiative today to strengthen export opportunities for Pacific Island producers.

True Pacific is a project being driven by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation to help bring the best Pacific products to the world. The programme is underpinned by a quality assurance programme and is promoted as the True Pacific mark.

Chief Executive of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Meg Poutasi, says despite being lands of diversity, many Pacific countries have unbalanced economic growth. Pacific businesses can spearhead export led growth by exploring niche markets for their quality export products.

“In the Pacific, you can find high quality tuna, noni juice, vanilla and coffee products all for the international market. Other areas of competitive advantage include natural spa products where ingredients are sourced from local botanicals. These products are currently going into the European, US and Asian markets. These products target a premium consumer market and provide export income for the communities that produce them. There are also an abundance of superb products, most of which never leave their home shores.

The True Pacific mark encourages export demand for the products from our Pacific neighbourhood by reassuring consumers that they are buying high-quality products or ingredients, genuinely produced in the Pacific.

25 producers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu have passed the quality assurance programme and been issued with licences to carry the True Pacific mark. A ceremony was hosted by New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon Murray McCully, to present True Pacific producers with their licences on 5 September 2011.

True Pacific licenced producers will be sampling and selling their gourmet gastronomic treats such as spices, coffee, chutneys and jams, honey, noni juice and tropical fruit at the Pacific Showcase, a free three-day event for the public, 6-8 September at the Cloud on Queen’s Wharf.

The Pacific Showcase provides an unprecedented opportunity for premium Pacific enterprises to connect with consumers, retailers and potential suppliers in New Zealand – one of the region’s important trading partners. It will also bring them into contact with visitors from around the world who will be here ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Pacific food expert and author of “Me’a Kai; The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific”, Robert Oliver, believes the timing for promoting Pacific sourced products in New Zealand is ideal.

“Current movements including local food, organics and fair trade demonstrate that there is a demand for products grown and produced in the Pacific way. A Pacific quality mark will help create a price premium for products that reflect these values as well as delivering on quality.

“Many Kiwis also feel a great affinity with the Pacific. Appreciation of Pacific cuisine and beautiful artisan food products that support Pacific communities, can only help to increase demand even further,” Mr Oliver says.

Some True Pacific products are available in stores now – Fiji Red Papaya, coconuts and watermelons from Tonga, sweetcorn from Vanuatu Direct all in supermarkets. Also Tanna coffee, Tupuanga coffee, Fiji Friend chutneys, Samoan Hot Boys Chilli sauce, Heilala Vanilla, Punja and Sons gourmet wraps are at selected outlets. New products will be hitting our shelves towards the end of the year. For more information on where to purchase products please go to: www.truepacific.com.

This is a completely not-for-profit initiative. Many of the producers involved fund community development initiatives, and help set up growers cooperatives to help small landholders be able to run a sustainable commercial operation.

ENDS

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