9 Apr 2014

RSE work spawns Vanuatu coffee and coconut venture

3:39 pm on 9 April 2014

It is hoped a coffee and coconut-oil joint business venture in Vanuatu can be used as an example to encourage Pacific seasonal workers to set up businesses when they return home.

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

Seth Kaurua and Vinepower directors, Jonathan Bushell and Jason Kennard, have secured a contract to grow coffee, and are on track to begin producing virgin coconut oil in May.

Mr Kaurua says up to 12 people are expected to be employed at the coconut oil mill and another 12 have been working on the coffee plantation since November.

"That's looking at helping communities, giving jobs to people, creating jobs in the village, and that gives opportunity for the local peoples, and that's very good for economic development."

Seth Kaurua says this also means RSE workers are able to put the skills they learn overseas to use in Vanuatu when they return.