Friday, February 06, 2009

New Guinea Fruit Company dedicated to making 100% Papua New Guinea products

Caption: New Guinea Fruit Company's newest products: Dried Bananas and Dried Pineapples

By SALLY WATSON of New Guinea Fruit Company
New Guinea Fruit Company is dedicated to making PNG products which have 100 % PNG ingredients.
We know the flavours of fruit in PNG are unbeatable, coming from fertile soils of the Highlands, thus, our products have that advantage.
We make products from produce that grows well here, providing a market for rural farmers to sell their produce.
We buy tree tomatoes (wild fruit), lemons, ginger, strawberry, elderberry, banana, pineapple, passionfruit, pawpaw and honey from local bee keepers.
Our buying prices are shown at our buying depot at Goroka main market.
 People bring in their produce and we pay per kilo.
We are always looking at developing products from produce that grow without training requirements or capital.
Our ingredients are always fresh.
Our biggest seller is the Live Lave fruit wines, which come in five types: wild fruit/ banana/ ginger/ strawberry/ elderberry.
 We also have nine varieties of jams and marmalade (Troppo), three types of fruit juice drink (Apo).
The sales of these latter products have suffered somewhat with the influx of cheap Asian foods such as peanut butter/jam, etc.
 It is difficult for us to compete price-wise.
 The amount of cheap Asian imports in our supermarkets is vast and we feel the government needs to recognise that as long at these products are on the market, PNG-made products cannot compete price-wise and it also leaves a highly competitive gap for local business to venture into food production.
Without government interference, PNG will not get out of its dependency on food imports.
New Guinea Fruit Company is diversifying.
We have two new projects in effect this year.
 Dried Fruits (banana and pineapple) are still in early stages of development, but production has started on machinery bought from the Philippines and Brazil.
This technology uses coffee husks as a primary fuel for drying.
 The managers of NGF believe the end dried products are the best-tasting in the world and we believe is a beginning of a new industry in PNG which will bring economic benefits to everyone.
The second project is the making of a natural spirit out of one of our live lave wines (wild fruit).
Live lave wines are prepared in the worldwide traditional way of making wine, fermenting and maturing (about 2.5 years).
 This wine is then distilled and the new spirit matured for another three years. Experiments are already being done.
We have high hopes in the product being a special export of PNG in the alcohol market.
Readers would be aware of the richness of our country.
The opportunities that it offers us is vast and to achieve our goals as a nation, we individuals, government sectors, business houses need to work together to bring about sustainable development to raise our standards of living.
While the government mostly concerns itself with infrastructural development there is a need for it to assess the needs of local businesses and use bottom – up approach in development.
New Guinea Fruit Company can see many prospects in the area of food production.
We will continue to pursue in developing what we see potential in; however, to be successful and to empower others, we need government to understand our needs.
On the subject of highlands honey, which is 100% natural honey, it is a product the world is seeking.
There is a world shortage of honey, due to bees around the world in developed countries being killed off by parasites and bee diseases.
The mites have been evolving with bees for hundreds of thousands of years; different species of bees have different species of mites as parasites.
Last year a species of mite which affects bees in other parts of the world was discovered in PNG.
 It was found everywhere.
The question is how many years has it been in PNG?
What effect will it have?
Will it kill off the bees?
The first question cannot be answered.
The latter questions are still too early to answer.
We are now in the middle of the honey-harvesting season and the production rate is much the same as last year.
If, in our more natural way of beekeeping, the mites are not a problem, PNG has a real chance of building up its honey industry in the highlands, because there is a world wide demand for honey that does not contain chemicals.
Developed countries want to buy our honey for a very high price.
 It is even being airfreighted to Switzerland, but we are not producing enough honey to make big shipments at the present time.
NGF is trying to grow our small honey industry by paying village beekeepers high price for honey (K10 per kilo) and selling bee equipment at a low price.
They are encouraged and more and more are going into beekeeping, however,  there is a great need for outside organisations such as NGO’s and the government itself to provide training requirements.
 Beekeeping is a skilled profession which can be learnt by anyone.
NGF does not have the capacity to train; we feel this is a vital area for the government to take on.
At this point in time we feel we need to study the parasite problem first and understand better if it is going to be a problem in PNG.

3 comments:

  1. Malum,

    It's uplifting to see homegrown companies tryin to tackle foreign markets - it bodes well for PNG as a nation.

    Good luck to NG Fruits.

    Tavurvur

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Hello Sally,
    All what you write and explain is so interesting : full congratulations for you and your father.

    I hope you succeed in going on with PNG products.
    Anne

    ReplyDelete
  3. Vincent2:12 AM

    very happy to see this happening :)

    ReplyDelete