9 Apr 2014

New venture in Vanuatu hopes to help RSE workers returning home

8:23 am on 9 April 2014

A coffee and coconut-oil joint business venture in Vanuatu is helping ensure seasonal workers are able to put their new skills to use when they return home.

The directors of New Zealand company, Vinepower, Jonathan Bushell and Jason Kennard, have partnered with a former RSE worker, Seth Kaurua to create the business, Tanna Farms.

Tanna Farms has secured a contract to grow coffee, and is on track to begin producing virgin coconut oil in May.

Jonathan Bushell says Vinepower, which employs about 250 RSE workers, and Tanna Farm feed into each other.

He says Tanna Farm helps find and train new RSE workers for New Zealand, but also ensures workers are able to find employment when they return home.

"We couldn't run our business without the guys that we get here from Vanuatu and it's really good to be able to put back into their communities as well, and it's great to see the improvements, and there's a huge potential, rather than handing out, just working with them to show people how they can actually make a go of it themselves."

A director of Vinepower and Tanna Farms, Jonathan Bushell.