Fiji Kava Signs MOU With iTaukei Trust Fund Board (TTFB) to Strengthen Supply Chain

Fiji Kava Ltd (ASX: FIJ), an Australian-Fijian medicinal kava health and wellness company which produces natural ‘Noble Kava’ products for the natural medicine market, is pleased to partner with TTFB through a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to develop Fiji Kava’s supply chain and relationships with commercial partners in Fiji.

TTFB is an institution established under the iTaukei Trust Fund Act, for the purpose of fostering the advancement of the iTaukei and Rotumans, by promoting initiatives that will better their standard of living and enhance appropriate cultural, traditions and values.

Under the MOU, Fiji Kava and TTFB will provide access to desirable Noble Kava plantlet varieties and helping local farmers transition to larger scale kava farming that meet Fiji Kava’s supply requirements.

The strategic partnership includes establishment of additional commercial nurseries in Fiji to grow and supply Noble Kava plantlets to contracted farmers. The nurseries are expected to be run and managed by selected women’s groups, who will earn income from this project.

In addition, Fiji Kava will develop opportunities for vocational graduates of a local Training Centre, as vocational post-graduate fellows on Fiji Kava’s nucleus estate in Cawatara, Ovalau and other selected locations in the provinces of Bua, Cakaudrove and Lomaiviti.

The training centre is a highly successful training institute, for young and aspiring farmers, with the farming of kava as a core component of the curriculum.

Under the MOU, TTFB and Fiji Kava will pilot the new arrangements in selected communities that have already been identified. If successful, the programme will be rolled out to other provinces of Fiji.

It is envisaged that this will become a key part of Fiji Kava’s supply chain in the long term.

TTFB CEO Aisake Taito says “This relationship established with Fiji Kava, satisfies one of our key pillars in our “Entrepreneurship Framework, which links resource owners to private sectors with an established export markets like Fiji Kava.

This is an attempt to advance resource owners from subsistence-based agriculture to semi-subsistence and eventually on a commercial level. Over the last decade, kava farming has grown exponentially in Fiji.

Above: TTFB CEO Aisake Taito and Fiji Kava Director Ratu Savenaca Seniloli at the MOU signing.

We would like to capitalise on this growth through developing a more sustainable kava industry. This partnership is expected to benefit women and youths via their  increased involvement in the ‘kava value-chain’”.

TTFB will also provide the relevant financial literacy training and advice the beneficiaries to better manage their income, to help improve their well-being. Fiji Kava CEO Dr Anthony Noble said: “This Memorandum of Understanding creates a long-term relationship with a like-minded partner in TTFB, who has deep and established ties to the Fijian community. Creating shared value with the traditional users and growers of Noble Fijian Kava is key pillar of Fiji Kava’s success.

“Working with TTFB through the agreement will significantly strengthen the quality, volume and consistency of our supply, which will underpin the future growth of Fiji Kava’s ‘Noble Kava’ range of products across our global market. We continue to invest and focus on supply chain robustness through inventory management, commercial partnerships and geographical diversity. “We also look forward to working with TTFB along with our existing partner PHAMAPLUS to continue strengthening our connection with our network of contracted farmers in Fiji and to help grow their local operations through additional training and infrastructure, which will deliver long-lasting economic and social benefits to thousands of Fijian farmers.”