Fiji launches Kava Quality Standard, Manual

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Thursday, March 09 2017

Seated (L-R): Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Jitendra Singh, Minister for Forests and then Acting Minister for Agriculture Osea Naiqamu and Assistant Minister for Agriculture Viam Pillay with kava farmers who travelled from various parts of the country to mark the launch of the kava standard and manual.

In a milestone achievement for Fiji’s kava industry, the National Kava Standard and Fiji Kava Quality Manual were officially launched today.

A first for the country, the kava quality standard and manual mark a significant progress in the ongoing efforts to improve kava quality and grow exports. The standard also sets a benchmark for consistent production of quality and reputable kava.

Minister for Forests and acting Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Osea Naiqamu, officially launched both documents at the Fiji Museum this evening.

In his address, Minister Naiqamu said, “We must explore every opportunity to protect and promote Fiji kava as an authentic high quality Fijian product when competing in the international markets. These manuals will support and validate to our overseas markets these attributes and will assist all stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that domestic and international trade of Fiji kava meets internationally accepted standards and procedures.”

Developed in collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Australian and New Zealand-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (*PHAMA) Program, the standard and manual are part of a wider regional effort to improve the quality of kava produced by Pacific Island countries.

Chief guest Minister for Forests and then Acting Minister for Agriculture Osea Naiqamu, Assistant Minister for Agriculture Viam Pillay and Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Jitendra Singh officially launch the standard and manual.

The standard establishes a level of quality that is applicable to all kava products used as a food or food ingredient and/or other products intended for human consumption.

The manual provides detailed instructions and advice for kava farmers, processors and exporters on best practice for quality kava production and proper management guidelines for planting, harvesting and processing. It also outlines the varieties of kava grown around the country.

Kava-producing countries in the Pacific, including Fiji, struggled in the aftermath of a kava ban imposed by Germany in 2002. The ban was later lifted in 2014, and while Fiji’s kava earnings have gradually increased, recovery has been relatively slow.

“Developing the standard and manual is all part of a bigger plan to develop a quality system that will ensure that the quality and reputation of Fiji’s kava is protected, so as to maintain its long-term access to international markets”, said PHAMA Team Leader, Guy Redding.

A Training of the Trainers Workshop was also held earlier this week as a build-up to the launch of the standard and manual. The workshop was designed to promote farmer and exporter awareness of the contents of the National Kava Standard and Fiji Kava Quality Manual.

Download National Kava Standard

Download Fiji Kava Quality Manual

Click on the following links to view media coverage of the build-up to and the official launch of the Fiji Kava Quality Standard and Fiji Kava Manual:

Elenoa urges more women to take up kava farming – The Fiji Times

Focus on farmer, exporter awareness – The Fiji Times

Manual to protect kava quality – The Fiji Times

Fiji to further lift and protect kava industry – Pasifik News

First for industry – The Fiji Times

Introduction of kava manual to boost industry – FBC News

Standard, Manual launched to protect international reputation of Fiji kava – Fiji Village

Fiji launches new manual for farmers to help capitalise on overseas kava craze – ABC News

Kava manual aims to boost Fiji products’ quality, exports – The Guam Daily Post

Fiji Kava Quality Manual and National Kava Standard launched – PINA

Fiji Kava Quality Standard and Manual launch – Fiji One News

Fiji Kava Quality Standard and Manual Launch – FBC TV

Fiji lucky to have 13 varieties of consumable kava – The Fiji Sun

Invest in farming – The Fiji Sun

 

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