19 Mar 2012

Momentum gathering for quality control on Pacific kava exports

7:20 pm on 19 March 2012

A Vanuatu kava researcher says that kava has great potential in Europe, American and Asian markets if Pacific farmers must produced better quality varieties of the product.

This comes after an international symposium on kava in Port Vila last week saw an agreement forged that Vanuatu, Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Tonga establish kava standard quality control policies.

Professor Vincent Lebot says that European countries have lifted their ban on kava but the current supply of poor quality kava could spoil its reputation.

"This is a free market economy and you get what you deserve. If you succeed to develop a good quality product, you will secure markets. So all of this has to be put on paper, in black and white, and it has to be enforced to make sure that there is trustability, there is quality control and there is a good product which is aiming to new markets."

Professor Vincent Lebot says farmers in the region will be in PNG next week to discuss the regional standard on kava.