U.S. COMPANY TO PROMOTE PAPUA NEW GUINEA VANILLA

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 11) – A giant U.S.-based vanilla dealer will help Papua New Guinea to acquire an organic certification to allow Papua New Guinea to bid for higher prices in the world market.

Two Danisco representatives assured vanilla farmers during a two-day visit to Central Sepik area of East Sepik last week.

[PIR Editor's note: East Sepik is in the northwest region of Papua New Guinea's mainland peninsula.]

The company’s vice president Soren Julen Vogelsang, who traveled all the way from their Denmark office, said he was impressed with the quality and production of vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea.

"We can look forward to see a certificate from Papua New Guinea so that we can introduce an organic bean or extract in the countries where we are," Mr. Vogelsang said.

The company has offices in over 100 countries around the world and deals directly with giant food manufacturers like Nestle and Unilever.

Mr. Vogelsang said vanilla prices in the U.S. market were increasing by 20 percent yearly and huge retailing companies were requesting organic extracts.

"Organic vanilla beans are grown and produced without the use of fertilizers or other chemicals," he said.

It will cost PGK300,000 [US$105,100] to acquire an organic certificate and Danisco would meet that cost as they were impressed with the quality of vanilla beans in Papua New Guinea.

Danisco arrived in the country at the request of Papindo Group of Companies trading as Intec Vanilla Niugini Limited with offices in Maprik, Wewak, Madang and Lae.

They spent two days with vanilla farmers at Holick in Yangoru, Balif in Maprik and Musendai in Drekikier.

Dr. Krishna Bala with Danisco’s flavor division said there was a bright future for Papua New Guinea vanilla beans.

Their visit was to study the beans and to put Papua New Guinea on the world map.

Green and cured vanilla beans are taken overseas for study purposes where chemical analysis will be conducted using the available Danisco achievements to make extracts and comparing it with beans from giant producers like India, Uganda and Madagascar.

"Once we have all the sufficient data, we are going to promote your beans to our customers like Nestle, Unilever and other big companies in the world.

"We will start in the U.S. then move to Europe and China," Dr. Bala said.

He expressed his gratitude to farmers for their generosity during the visit and thanked Sir Soekandar Tjandra, the managing director of the Papindo Group of Companies for his help.

The representatives from Danisco also brought home interesting news that Papua New Guinea is now ranked second in the world behind Madagascar for producing not only quality beans but a huge export record of over 600 tons last year.

May 12, 2006

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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