Monday, August 10, 2009

Papua New Guinea capable of producing world-class products

Micky Puritau of Paradise Spices shows some of the company’s products at the National Development Forum
Paradise Spices products on display at the National Development Forum

Papua New Guinea is more than capable of producing world-class finished products that meet international requirements, according to leading 100% nationally-owned vanilla and spice producer Micky Puritau.
Mr Puritau, managing director of Paradise Spices, said this in a heartening and widely-applauded presentation to the National Development Forum in Parliament last Friday.
Paradise Spices is a family run company that has been involved in the agriculture
sector in PNG since 1987 and exporting vanilla beans for 10 years.
The company this year received $170,000 funding from AusAID which will enable Paradise Spices to establish a solvent extraction facility at its Port Moresby site to produce pure vanilla extract, vanilla oleoresin (a naturally occurring mixture of resin
and essential oil) and other spices.
The facility would be the first of its kind in PNG and it would create a larger and more-reliable market for the farmers.
Part of the plan for the project is to gain international quality standard certification.
Once achieved, it is expected that this will lead to greater export opportunities.
“As a producer and exporter of finished products, Paradise Spices is constantly faced with new challenges and decisions each year after participating in trade shows around the world,” Mr Puritau told an appreciative audience.
“When we see products that can easily be made in PNG, we are challenged with questions like ‘why can’t we do this in our own country?’, ‘is it too difficult for Papua New Guineas to make these products?’; ‘do we grow the raw materials in PNG and is the supply consistent?’
“Quite often, the answer is quite simple and resulting from these challenges, Paradise Spices is now producing gold award products which are now being used as food ingredients to make gourmet products in Australia and Japan.
“From our experience, we believe many other Papua New Guineans can replicate what we are doing.
“The challenge for this nation is that we cannot continue to export raw materials which are susceptible to the oscillations of world market prices, generation after generation.
“We must change our mentality into one of growing, producing and exporting of finished products into countries like India and China.”
Mr Puritau said immense opportunities abounded in the global markets for PNG-made products.
“Many consumers from countries around the world such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, USA and Europe are seeking to buy organically-grown products and PNG is one country in the world than can supply these products,” he said.
“However, PNG producers must work towards obtaining quality standards certification from recognised certifying bodies already existing in order to satisfy the demand for quality products from these countries.
“We can no longer take these things for granted as we move into global trading and competition.
“Initially, the national government through its medium term development strategy (MTDS) 2005-2010, will need to provide support to existing producers and traders and improving their capacity to obtain quality standards certification.
“A database of local manufacturers needs to be established in order to provide direct and focused assistance.
“By increasing the number of certified producers over a 10-20 year period, this will result in increased volume pf trade and exports, thus, creating jobs locally and drawing in foreign currency which would contribute to a positive balance of payments never before seen in PNG.”

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