14 Jun 2012

Kava expert says Vanuatu should pull out of Pacific Kava Council

4:36 am on 14 June 2012

A local kava expert says Vanuatu should pull out of the Pacific Kava Council because it's not taking the issue of exporting kava seriously enough.

Charlot Long Wah who started the commercialisation of kava in early 1980 says it will be years before Vanuatu can export kava to European countries despite Vanuatu's ambassador to the European Union this week saying the ban could soon be overturned.

Mr Long Wah says not enough scientific research has been done to convince European officials about the nutritional benefits of kava.

And he says Vanuatu would be better off leaving the Pacific Kava Council and exporting directly to countries.

"I don't think that the Pacific Council of Kava is worth working with them because we have very different variety of kava. The problem is they're not taking seriously the issue of kava export, we have the potential of export we should do alone to export our product."

Charlot Long Wah says he's currently involved in a deal with a firm in China on exporting a billion tea-bags of kava, which he says is a form of the product that can be exported easily.