11 Nov 2013

Cooks Chamber of Commerce believes in reviving exports of heat-treated produce

6:54 am on 11 November 2013

The President of the Chamber of Commerce in the Cook Islands says there is potential to revive exports of heat-treated produce.

Steve Anderson says the Cooks once had a thriving agricultural sector in the 1960s, 70s and late 90s but it has faced some complex issues.

He says the country once exported heat-treated fresh produce to New Zealand and although this is non-existent now, he believes it can be revived.

"The heat treatment plant which is necessary for the export of all fresh fruit produce has been derelict since the turn of the century in fact. It really needs to be handed over to private sector to operate. It's not the sort of thing that governments successfully operate."

Steve Anderson says agriculture should be treated as a business and run by the private sector.