More awareness needed on ava regulations and standards
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2018: There is a need for more awareness among ava (kava) growers and the general public on the Samoa Ava Regulations and Ava Standard.
This was one of several recommendations in the Ava Awareness Outcomes Report released by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Labour (MCIL) following the completion of two initial awareness programs in Savaii and Upolu.
With the Samoa Ava Regulations and Ava Standard soon to be introduced, consultation programs were held to canvass the views and support of the ava growers and exporters of the quality standard and regulation. The Ava Standard will facilitate safe trade by ensuring product safety and quality standards of ava and ava products for human consumption.
The awareness events were organised in collaboration with government ministries – MCIL, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Health, Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters – and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program*. The meetings also provided a platform for discussions on issues relating to the ava industry and gathering feedback from growers.
Feedback from the meetings has helped MCIL and the Codex Committee clarify queries relating to legislation and governing policies and make decisions on appropriate changes. It has also formed the basis of recommendations in the outcomes report.
In the report, the ministry stated that ava growers and members of the public do not fully understand the new legislation and recommended that more awareness programs be conducted to address this. The report also listed several recommendations that align well with the PHAMA Program’s objectives and priorities for ava in Samoa.
PHAMA’s support of the awareness programs is aligned with its priorities to develop quality production and processing manuals to maintain market access for agricultural products. The program has supported similar activities for ava industries in Vanuatu and Fiji, resulting in the development and launch of national quality standards for ava and ava products in both countries.
This approach is aimed at helping ava-producing countries in the region, including Samoa, revive exports of ava and ava products which have been increasingly subject to market concerns over quality following a ban (since lifted) on ava imports by the European Union in 2002.