2 Aug 2012

New Zealand to help Pacific develop niche agricultural exports

6:18 am on 2 August 2012

New Zealand is to spend four-and-a-half million dollars to help smallholder farmers in Pacific island countries develop high-value agricultural exports.

The money will go to the organisation, Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, over the next five years.

The foreign affairs minister, Murray McCully, says getting Fairtrade certification will help growers unlock the demand here for high-quality food products from the islands like coffee, cocoa and vanilla.

Fairtrade's chief executive, Stephen Knapp, says the money will help it to get more Pacific growers certified so they can command premium prices, and to link them with buyers in New Zealand.

He says the Fairtrade market here is growing quickly, with 45-million dollars in sales last year.