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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (The Cook Islands Herald, June 14) – A delegation of four from Beijing China will arrive on the 21st of June to meet with nono processors.

The group which also includes a PICTA [Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement] representative are interested in buying nono.

[PIR editor’s note: Nono, also known in the Pacific as Noni, is a traditional medicinal plant that in recent years has developed a worldwide market for its healing properties.]

According to Sylvia George of the Development Investment Board, the delegation will meet with two of the larger processing companies, and there is a industry meeting organized for Friday 22nd which is open to growers, and the smaller processors.

George is encouraging other people involved in the food technology industry to come to the industry meeting as this company also deals with the research, production and marketing of food technology and heat preservation apparatus, instruments or equipment. She hopes that the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture will meet with the group too.

The delegation will also travel to Samoa to look at their nono.

President of Nono Cook Islands Sam Ezekiela says that they cannot comment on the visit until they have met with the delegation and determined their requirements for quality, quantity and price.

Ezekiela says that there is only one local processing company supplying the Chinese market at the moment, but if the six local processors can work together they may be able to offer these Chinese a good deal.

Nono Cook Islands was set up three months ago. The president is Sam Ezekiela, the vice president Terry Utanga, the secretary is Tetuanui Bates. The members include Kiki Koteka’s Biomedic Cook Islands, Terry Utanga’s Kia Orana Products, Danny Mataroa’s Noni Mana, Ta Tukaroa’s Sunline Noni and Teupoo Bates CI Premium Noni.

The association’s aim is to standardize everything nono. That is they would like to see standardization of pricing, farming and inspection methods. They would also like to enforce some common food technology standards. This will give the industry a boost in that they would be able to buy nono from each other if they are unable to cater for a particular order.

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