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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, April 2) – A two billion French Pacific franc (US$22.2 million) noni factory capable of doubling monthly production was inaugurated Friday by Tahitian Noni International and Temaru government officials.

The ultra modern 8,000-square-meter (86,111 sq. ft.) Morinda Company factory built in the south coast district of Mataiea employs some 50 people who use the noni fruit to create two basic products: purée for making noni juice and noni seeds for making noni oil and cosmetic products.

The people of Tahiti have been using the noni fruit for the past 2,000 years for its reputed health benefits. Today, the noni fruit, as well as the plant’s leaves, provide income for some 1,000 families throughout French Polynesia.

John and Bryant Wadsworth, who initiated the building of the Mataiea factory, were joined by French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru in the inauguration ceremonies.

"I met the Wadsworth brothers a few years ago at the Faa’a Town Hall, where they presented me with their project," said Temaru, who is also mayor of the Commune of Faa’a. "Their company is an example today. Their products are sold throughout the world, and consequently contribute to the promotion of (French) Polynesia."

Edouard Tuairau, general manager of Morinda in Tahiti, said, "Until now we treated 600 tons of noni per month, but with this ultra modern factory we are going to reach 1,200 tons per month."

Tahitian Noni International Vice President John Wadsworth noted during his short inauguration speech that the Morinda Company is not part of the 12-million-member Mormon Church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City. Tahitian Noni International’s global headquarters are located in Provo, Utah.

Wadsworth said he was pleased that the several products produced from the noni fruit are available in 70 countries throughout the world, including the U.S.A., Europe, Japan and China.

Tahitian Noni International claims to be the first research-driven products company to introduce the health benefits of the noni plant to the world outside Tahiti. Founded by two food research scientists in 1995, the company’s noni-based products include beverages, beauty and spa products, weight loss management lines and animal nutrition. It has sales offices in 35 countries and claims a presence in 73 markets worldwide.

The Morinda Company has six sites on Tahiti, but the sale of noni fruit to the company provides incomes directly and indirectly for some 4,500 people, according to management.

The Morinda Company says it has an international Tahitian noni promotion budget of one billion French Pacific francs (US$11 million). "Our goal," John Wadsworth said, "is to enable each person in the world to have a bottle of noni in his or her refrigerator."

April 4, 2005

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2


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