Partnership a boost to coconut nectar production in Rabi
Fijian business Marama Niu is boosting the production of coconut nectar as a healthier alternative to ordinary sugar, following a partnership with the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus).
The Australia and New Zealand supported collaboration looks to enhance the quality and standardisation of Marama Niu’s coconut nectar products for domestic and overseas markets. This provides sustainable income opportunities for Banaban women in Rabi who supply coconut nectar and virgin coconut oil to Marama Niu.
Marama Niu, a women led business based in Suva, produces a range of vegan ice cream products using coconut nectar sourced from Rabi as a substitute to sugar. Coconut nectar production is a traditional activity in Rabi where the sap of the coconut blossom (fresh toddy) is extracted and boiled to produce a sweet syrup. The company has also started bottling coconut nectar, among other soap and virgin coconut oil products, sold in local supermarkets, retail outlets and airport terminals.
“Our collaboration with PHAMA Plus will help strengthen our logistics and supply chain of sourcing coconut nectar from women suppliers in Rabi and improve product quality and standard. This creates a strong foundation for Marama Niu to grow and thrive all while preserving the traditional knowledge and ownership of coconut nectar for the Banaban people,” Kylie Daunoco, Co-Founder Marama Niu said.
Recognising the important role of women and youth in the coconut value chain on Rabi, Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil Facility Manager Operation Terikano Takesau said: “We’ve built a strong business relationship with Marama Niu where our women are supplying virgin coconut oil and now coconut nectar. It is a source of pride for us Banaban people to see our products out in local and overseas markets through Marama Niu.”
Australian High Commission in Fiji’s Counsellor Cooperation Andrew Shephard said: “This partnership is an example of how Australia and Fiji are working together to support and promote women’s economic development. Australia proudly supports this collaboration through the regional PHAMA Plus program, which not only backs women entrepreneurs who are doing really innovative things but also offers opportunities for expansion of coconut nectar production beyond Rabi Island, with potential to enhance rural livelihoods across Fiji and the Pacific.”
PHAMA Plus, supported by Australia and New Zealand, aims to contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and improved rural livelihoods across 10 Pacific countries. PHAMA Plus works with businesses and the public sector to maintain and improve trade of agricultural products by assisting them to meet export market requirements.
For more information contact PHAMA Plus Country Manager Fiji – Mr. Navitalai Tuivuniwai at firstname.lastname@example.org