19 Nov 2018

Pacific countries to promote kava as food product

From , 6:02 am on 19 November 2018

Pacific Island countries are working to adhere to an international food standard in order to protect the reputation of their kava products .

The Codex Alimentarius Quality Standard is set by the World Health Organisation and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

It follows guidelines and codes of practice on the safety, quality and fairness of food trade.

The Vanuatu scientist and kava expert Vincent Lebot says using the standard will see kava promoted as a healthy beverage like a tea.

Dr Lebot says Vanuatu is working with other kava-producing countries - Fiji, Tonga and Samoa - to develop adherence to the standard .

He spoke to Johnny Blades.

A kava bowl

A kava bowl Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana