or Sign in
Vanuatu kava industry leads the way
- Food For Sale
Vanuatu kava Industry leads the way
Vanuatu kava industry in is leading the push to standardise production of kava. They work towards increasing the export of kava and improve the quality for domestic consumers. The kava plant, Piper methysticum is native to the south Pacific countries. So, each country produces different varieties. They mostly depend on growing conditions, soil and climate. Thus far, they a similar to various varieties of tea, coffee and wine.
Kava is a member of the pepper family. The sedative brew is extracted from the kava plant roots. The kava drink looks much like muddy water. Most varieties have a bitter aftertaste. However, in the island nations kava beverage is so popular for its relaxing and calming properties.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation in Australia classifies kava as depressant drug. It was banned for import from 2007 to December 2022. Thus far, kava import is allowed under the Pilot Programme. The importer requires a permit to import kava. Some members of European Union such as Poland applies a ban on kava import.
Kava is an important money spinner for Vanuatu. Export value of kava is over USD$7.5 million per annum. It is growing. Vanuatu mostly exports to the west coast of the USA. So, the attraction is the specialist kava bars in USA. These bars are springing up everywhere in USA. Furthermore, the trend is growing in communities in Australia and New Zealand too.
The Pacific countries are untied to try, and push improve the quality of kava drink. Simultaneously they work to increase sales and its value as a commodity. So far, Vanuatu has a quality testing procedure in place for its exports. They are leading talks with other nations to introduce testing of their kava products too. Vanuatu Agriculture Ministry appoints a scientist to standardise the product because of a ban by few European countries. It was resulting from poor quality kava tablets produced in Europe. Thus, it tarnished its reputation. Thus far, the Europeans run-down the prestigious reputation of the traditional drink. They banned the products made in Europe. In fact, the products were produced non-controlled imported raw ingredients.
So far, Europeans misuse the word kava. Hence, they managed to convince potential consumers throughout the world that kava maybe hepatoxic.
Hence, it is important for the Pacific countries to protect the reputation. It is imperative to safeguard the cultural drink. So, it may help minimise or avoid such mishap in the future. According to Vanuatu’s biosecurity the demand for kava outstrips supply. Hence, the kava sales projections from export expect to double in the next few years. As the popularity grows, there is a need to protect its quality. It must remain premium and safe drink become paramount. This may improve farmers’ income which was limited so far.
Thus far, different varieties unique effects. The tests developed so far, can distinguish the best varieties from the inferior types. This may give a better indication of the best kava to export. Due to demand outstripping supply, it impacts on the type kava to export. Thus, they have to be vigilant at the border.