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More demand for Fijian kava in the US market

September 29, 2020 4:35 pm
Fiji kava is among the most exported commodities to the United States market with continuous demand over the years since 2013.

Fiji kava is among the most exported commodities to the United States market with continuous demand over the years since 2013.

Senior Trade and Export Advisor for Investment Fiji Shaneel Nair says the kava industry is key to our Fijian economy after noting an increased revenue earned of $22.2 million to the US over the past four years.

He also confirms that a total of 328,371 kilograms of kava was exported last year, an increase of over 43,000kg from 2018.

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Nair adds the ‘Fiji Forward’ initiative will assist Fijians and an estimated 7,000 yaqona farmers will achieve the forecasted seven percent increase of kava export to the US market in the near future.

“We are receiving a lot of inquiries, we are receiving a lot of interest from farmers who are interested in becoming exporters. So we hosting capabilities programs to upskill them, to ensure they receive the best hand advice on how they can become a successful exporter.”

US Ambassador to Fiji Joseph Cella says the industry is critical to Fiji’s economy in these times of uncertainty.

“This is really an example of opportunities that are out there, very bright future based on the interest of kava growing in the United States, whether with extra beverages. The beverage industry in the US is exploding and this is a niche product that many people are looking for as well as health and nutrition.”

Fiji Kava General Manager Sales George Kotobalavu says the growing demand has inspired them to diversify their products.

“With ours we’ve got the process that we remove all the harmful bacteria, making sure that is fit for human consumption to the very detail according to international standards. I think that’s something the local market is still coming to terms with so we want to preach about that more.”

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Fiji is reminding local kava dealers to abstain from any unethical way of conducting the business that can halt export and affects 180 kava bars in the US.

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