Fine Food Australia is the region’s biggest annual food and beverage trade show. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors and buyers from around the world, potentially millions of dollars worth of deals are discussed and finalised at the show. The 30-year-old show is possibly the best platform for Pacific Island food and beverage manufacturers to display their wares. Collectively, the Pacific Islands have been a comparatively recent entrant. Over the past four years, a number of food and beverage manufacturers from island nations as well as companies that import island produce and package them in Australia and New Zealand have participated at the show under a collective Pacific Island banner.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s trade arm, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, has been facilitating the participation of island food and beverage exporters mainly by sponsoring a large-sized stand at the venue, collectively used by up to eight exporters displaying their products. Promotional and logistic assistance is also provided to the participants. This was the fourth year that the trade arm helped coordinate and host island participants. At last month’s show at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, exporters from Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Niue participated.
A continuous stream of potential buyers, new business contacts and interested parties thronged the Pacific Islands stand that hosted eight companies at the show that ran between September 15 and 19. Pacific Island exhibitors at the Pacific Islands booth ranged from coffee and cocoa growers, chocolatiers, honey producers and coconut product makers to manufacturers of packaged foods, bottled water, beverages and even alcoholic drinks.
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