7 Mar 2006

Pacific kava quality control system to be set up

7:56 pm on 7 March 2006

Steps are being taken to ensure that the quality of export kava from the region meets the requirements of overseas markets.

A quality control system, which will cover the production, processing and packaging of kava, is to be set up for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu before the end of the year.

The co-chairman of the Pacific's International Kava Executive Council, Eddie Wilson, says they need to ensure standards of quality as the ban on kava imports remains in place in some European countries.

He says they're working to get that lifted and introducing this system should help.

"This is very necessary in view of the need to ensure that when the kava ban is lifted, that the Pacific Island countries will conform with quality requirements of the market to prevent any potential problems in the future."

Mr Wilson says the standards should begin operating from October this year.