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Samoa back on track with banana export to New Zealand

After its first two successful shipments passed border checks by New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), Samoa is back on track for banana exports.

New Zealand Samoa Trade & Investment Commissioner Magele Mauiliu Magele: “The first shipment went well. Most of the retailers in Otara, Mangere and Otahuhu sold out.” The second shipment of green bananas were due on the shelves by December 1. Samoa’s green bananas are being sold through dairies and small fruit retailers mostly in South Auckland.

Magele said there were teething problems with the first shipment but commended New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) for not destroying the whole shipment, instead choosing to fumigate. It was an important decision at a pivotal stage in Samoa’s banana export history.

It has been 50 years since Samoa’s last banana exports arrived into New Zealand and 30 years since interest in growing fell, due to availability of plant materials and the impact of climate change weather patterns.

Magele recalled that several years ago, a private banana shipment was destroyed by New Zealand Biosecurity after problems were found. “I firmly believe if the spirit of PACER Plus wasn’t there, it probably would have been a different scenario.

PACER Plus is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between 11 Pacific Island Forum Countries that allows trading between countries, avoiding unnecessary barriers and facilitating a predictable trade environment.

The historic first shipment of 500 cases of 13 kg of bananas in August nearly didn’t make it to shop shelves, temporarily delayed due to ants found in two of the cases, reports

The shipment was fumigated without notable effect and the bananas were on the shelves by late Saturday. By Monday, they were sold out.

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