Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Zealand receives first Papua New Guinea fresh produce export

Papua New Guinea has successfully completed a trial export of ginger to New Zealand, the first time PNG fresh produce has been exported there for commercial distribution.

Many other Pacific countries already export significant quantities of tropical fresh produce to New Zealand, and PNG coffee and spices can be found there, but to date PNG fresh produce has been missing from shop shelves. 

Under the 2008 trial, coordinated by a committee of PNG government departments established to explore fresh produce export options in cooperation with the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission office in Auckland and the New Zealand High Commission in Port Moresby, the PNG ginger sent to Auckland complied fully with New Zealand’s relevant import health standards and was distributed on to interested importers.  

Both sides agreed that there is scope for PNG fresh produce to be marketed commercially in New Zealand, especially in Auckland given its large Pacific population. 

The key now is to fully explore the commercial viability of exports to New Zealand, including other crops in addition to ginger, and to strengthen the capacity of PNG growers and exporters to ensure continuity of supply and quality, and correct treatment, packaging and handling of produce. 

In the meantime, New Zealand consumers will continue to wait for their “taste of PNG”.


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