PTI NZ participants over the moon with Food Show response

Visitors thronged the PTI NZ Pacific Islands booth at the Auckland Food Show throughout the four days.

The Auckland Food Show is an important week in the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ annual calendar. For the past few years, PTI NZ has hosted several companies that export and distribute food and beverage products from all over the Pacific Islands region.

his year’s show saw nine Pacific Island food and beverage companies participating with products from Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga and Niue. The products ranged from cocoa and chocolate to coffee, crackers, vanilla, soft drinks to processed foods.

For Pacific product companies at the PTI NZ Pacific booth, participation at New Zealand’s largest food and beverage show is part of PTI NZ’s Path to Market programme – a multi-stage export capability building programme for Pacific Island exporters and export-ready companies to find distributors and retailers in New Zealand. More than 700 companies around the region have graduated from the programme.

PTI NZ Acting Trade & Investment Commissioner Manuel Valdez said this year’s feedback from participants was the most positive so far. “We had a few first timers this year and they were very pleased by the response. While many sold products across the counter, importantly, some of them are in conversations with distributors,” he said.

Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager said, “All participants’ products were of high quality and ready to go to market. There were also new categories of products, since we tend to concentrate on getting new companies to participate every year. So, interest from the market has been high.”

Mr Furlong said it was heartening to see that almost all of the participating companies had identified or already made distribution contracts. “Some have even made contacts with the big supermarkets in New Zealand and that’s a great result,” he said.

Participant Ashon Venture’s ‘Taste of India’ range of products and Tanna Coffee’s coffee products have generated high interest in the supermarkets, Mr Furlong revealed.

While formal feedback from the participating companies was still being gathered and analysed, Mr Furlong reckoned that there would be new inputs needed into some of the modules of the PTI NZ Path to Market programme.

“Modules with things like border regulations, customs and phytosanitary requirements for produce and food products will need to be included in more detail,” he said.

“PTI NZ Trade team will also focus more on meeting with potential buyers and distributors so that they can get the best deal,” Mr Furlong added.

Reaction from the participating companies that Pacific Periscopespoke to was unanimously positive. “It has been exceptional,” Niue Vanilla’s Stanley Kalauni, who has participated in shows before, said.

Naheeda Vohra, General Manager of first-time participant Zonah United said the experience was “Overwhelmingly positive.” The turmeric, cinnamon, bottled water, ginger and honey exporter was “Grateful to PTI NZ for this opportunity. The story in Pacific Periscope ahead of the Food Show helped generate a lot of interest and we had quite a few inquiries even before we came to New Zealand,” Ms Vohra said.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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