27 Jun 2012

Grower shortage only issue for Niue vanilla exporter

4:45 am on 27 June 2012

The owner of a vanilla exporting company on Niue says there's a shortage of producers but former growers who took part in a government scheme that failed are reluctant to start farming the crop again.

Stanley Kalauni of Niue Vanilla International is one of the participants in the inaugural three-day Pacific trade expo in Fiji that ends today.

He says his company sells its certified organic vanilla to Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand and is working on a deal with Japan.

Mr Kalauni says the business is flourishing but one of the issues with expansion is increasing the number of suppliers.

"They've been stung before. The government pushed them to put in plantations and most people did. They started up new plantations and it was going in full production. But once they had the beans, no one was buying it."

Stanley Kalauni says his company pays suppliers for beans before processing them, so the farmers know they're always going to get their money.