Ministry seeks TP$2 million for export project

    Ministry of Labour and Commerce Acting CEO Anisi Bloomfield said this evening his ministry was asking for TP$2 million from the 2017/18 budget to support an export project to New Zealand.

    Bloomfield and Head of the Business Support and Facilitation Division, Tevita Lautaha, led a Tongan delegation which struck a deal to export food, fish and handicrafts direct to New Zealand suppliers.

    As reported in Kaniva News last month, under the plan, Tonga would export crops including taro, yams, manioke, kape, taro and pele leaves.

    A spokesman for J & P Turner Ltd, the parent company of importer Fresh Direct Ltd, said the company had had discussions regarding the receiving and distribution of Tongan produce.

    “We have a long and deep connection with Tonga and are certainly keen to be doing all we can to help with Tonga economy which in turn helps the individual growers and farmers in Tonga,” Jeff Turner said.

    It is understood the company is now waiting for further developments in Tonga.

    Bloomfield said last month his delegation would call a meeting with prospective suppliers in Tonga.

    “The government is trying to put into practice a vision that has been with Tongan growers for many, many years,” Bloomfield said.

    The government wanted to help get Tongan growers’ and handicraft makers’ products directly to the market.

    The government’s budget has to be approved by Parliament in June.

    The main points

    • The Ministry of Labour and Commerce is asking for TP$2 million from the 2017/18 budget to support an export project to New Zealand.
    • As reported in Kaniva News last month, a Tongan delegation struck a deal to export food, fish and handicrafts direct to New Zealand suppliers.
    • Under the export plan, Tonga would export crops including taro, yams, manioke, kape, taro and pele leaves.

    For more information

    Tongan food exports to be marketed by Turners in New Zealand

     

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