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Vanuatu continues to lead the kava market

Danger lies within

VANUATU has always taken great pride in the varieties of kava cultivated locally. As long ago as 2002 the International Kava Executive Council was formed and Vanuatu saw fit to start to introduce quality controls on the production of kava for local consumption and for export. Furthermore a Kava Act was drawn up in this country which possessed 82 of the varieties (29 considered consumable and 10 the ‘noble’ varieties.) In contrast to our 82, Fiji has 12, Tonga 6 and Samoa 8 varieties. So Ni-Vanuatu pride in its home-grown euphoric was unbounded, and Ni-Vanuatu travelling to regional meetings were often asked to provide the kava for the celebrations.

But then recently to have the Fiji Sun reporting at the time of the Fiji Parliament engaging itself in debate, for a Kava Bill 2016, that the Fiji Standing Committee chair on Natural Resources stated “Whatever yaqona that goes out of Fiji should be Fiji kava because of the quality and the standard; we don’t want to export substandard commodities.”

Well, this did not go down well in Vanuatu. Okay, certain European countries banned kava. Kava has never been consumed in Europe. Furthermore they use the word to designate extracts produced in Europe from imported dried parts of the plant. Once it is dried, however, there is no way to tell if it is truly piper methysticum or not. 

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