31 Jan 2006

Fiji tells PNG to improve standards if it wants to export kava.

4:42 pm on 31 January 2006

Fiji says Papua New Guinea must improve its standard of kava for export if it wants to create a market in Fiji.

Papua New Guinea's first consignment of kava to Fiji had to be returned because it lacked the necessary documentation and was sub-standard.

The 5-tonnes of kava contained skin peelings and had not been dried well so fungus and mildew had grown on it .

The director of Fiji's quarantine department, Hiagi Forete, says there was also insufficient documentation to determine the source of the kava.

Mr Forete says it is important that PNG complies with Fiji's standards.

"For us, our future trade is more important than just this single consignment, for us to get things straightened out. Once we have a good base and a good understanding of the kava trade with PNG we'll have less of a problem as we trade in the future."

The director of Fiji's quarantine department, Hiagi Forete.