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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse: May 27) - A foundation stone was
put in place on May 25 for the construction of a 1.4 billion French Pacific
franc (US$14.3 million) factory designed to help Tahiti double its yearly "nono"
juice exports starting in 2005.

The "nono" juice factory is to be completed in
September 2004, creating employment for 30 people in the Atimaono Territorial
Domain in Mataiea on Tahiti’s south coast.

The factory is being built for Morinda, a company that markets
Tahiti’s "nono" juice overseas.

"Nono" is a fruit attributed with having healing
properties. The range of by-products coming from this fruit has recently grown
bigger to include dietary supplements, cosmetic products and herbal teas,
creating a list of original products capable of conquering new export markets.

French Polynesia Vice President Edouard Fritch, who put the
factory’s foundation stone in place, gave a speech during which he assessed
the path traveled since the creation of the Morinda in 1996.

This company mainly exports the nono juice to the U.S.A.

"Over the years, the noni has become an essential part of
French Polynesia’s agricultural landscape," Fritch said. "The
activity now concerns several hundred collectors spread throughout our five
archipelagoes. It constitutes for them an extraordinary chance in terms of
active employment and income." Last year, nearly 4,000 tons of fruit was
harvested. That translated into gross agricultural revenues evaluated at 240
million CFP (US$2.4 million), according to Fritch.

For French Polynesia, that meant 3,600 tons of nono purée was
exported to the U.S., representing a value of 960 million CFP (US$9.8 million),
Fritch said.

Morinda hopes to export 8,000 tons of nono during 2005. After
the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, the Chinese and
European markets are opening to nono and its by-products.

May 29, 2003

Tahitipresse: www.tahiti.com 

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