Niue Vanilla International has expanded its export markets – the latest being Russia.
BCN News caught up with Niue Vanilla Owner Stan Kalauni at his 3 acre farm in Hakupu where the vanilla plants are grown and harvested.
Niue Vanilla Organic works closely with over 50 local vanilla farmers to produce premium quality vanilla beans for the international market, providing a vital income pathway for local Niuean farmers.
“Our customers now are spreading worldwide and we have interest all over the world but the latest customers now are actually from Russia, Moscow so we’ve sent consignments already to customers based in Moscow so its only reasonable that we also look at that market seriously for the next year or so.”
” Amazon Australia is also preparing to have our products be sold online and through Amazon Australia. Again that is a big step forward for us so we really need to prepare for that market because once we actually have the products online we’ve got to have the stock behind it to supply the market, its quite a huge market.” said Stan Kalauni – Owner Niue Vanilla
The green and matured vanilla beans are sourced directly from local farmers as well their own farm and delicately sun-cured for four to five months under strict organic guidelines before being processed and exported to global markets.
” Right from the outset when we first started out it was really to help the vanilla farmers here gather their products and process , market and promote , export overseas but we have grown the market really really well that in order for us to supply the market we have to go into farming ourselves otherwise we have a lot of people wanting to buy Niue vanilla and we dont have the supply so we’re in a stage now that we’ve expanded the farm. We have planted to date I would comfortably say over 30, 000 vines on the ground and that’s a lot of investment that we’ve put to this farm and of course when you actually go into that scale you have to employ a lot of workers on the farm and all other expenses that comes along with it,. It’s all investment at this stage, going forward the market for vanilla looks very promising , most of the prices are still very high at the moment which is a good time to do vanilla farming.”
” The world market prices ranges anywhere from 550 USD to 950 USD a kilo, that’s in different grades so basically from grade c up to grade premium, that’s the price range that we are looking at and also for the farmers in Niue we’ve also locked in the price just to buy green beans from them for the next five years, that’s how confident we are that the market will stay up because there’s a lot of problems with the vanilla industry around the world at the moment, short supply because of the hurricanes and typhoon destroying plantations but also there’s a lot of criminal activities going on around the world, lot of thefts and of course most of the products that end up in the market, when people steal them and don’t know how to cure them properly are actually second grade which is really low value in comparison to our vanilla from Niue, its always regarded as a highest quality ever people have ever bought so we will continue to do what we do and maintain that quality for our overseas markets and customers.” said Kalauni
According to Pacific Trade Invest Australia, although Niue’s vanilla industry is comparatively small to other vanilla-producing nations such as Madagascar, Mexico, Indonesia and China, Stan Kalauni knew the quality of Niue vanilla was high and began to explore the potential to export
In 2011, NIUE Vanilla International was part of PTI Australia’s Pacific Showcase at Fine Food Australia, their first time at an international trade show. The feedback, sales leads and exposure confirmed that they were on the right path.
The learning gained through PTI Australia’s Pacific Showcase enabled Kalauni to refine their product offering and understand their export market resulting in export sales and growth.
Now the quality of Niue’s vanilla is widely recognized internationally; NIUE Vanilla International export market has grown, exporting all over the world, with international businesses using it in everything from cooking to perfume.