Some Niuean families living in New Zealand and Australia will be enjoying Niue grown talo this Christmas thanks to two talo export businesses, Moui Produce and Havaka Niue Ltd. (picture: Moui Produce (left) and Havaka Niue Ltd shipment of more than 500 sacks of talo)
The local talo growers in Niue will also be enjoying their Christmas with some extra spending money thanks to these two talo exporters. BCN News understands that one talo grower collected over $3,000 dollars for his talo.
However, since COVID 19 many of the talo would have gone to waste because of the travel restrictions when normally flights from Niue into Auckland is loaded with polystyrene containers full of talo.
Moui Produce based in Melbourne sent their shipment of frozen talo on the last boat. Siala Magatogia one of the partners of Moui Produce told BCN news that their shipment of talo arrived into New Zealand on the 16th of November. Due to port congestion in Auckland Siala and her partner Maurice Tamate have had to seek alternative space to get their talo to Australia.
Meanwhile, at Sir Robert’s wharf this morning, more than five hundred 20kg sacks of frozen talo were being loaded into a 20ft freezer container by Havaka Niue Ltd bound for Auckland. Brad Ikinepule told BCN News that this is their third and largest consignment of taro sent to New Zealand.
The container will also be shipping ten boxes of frozen wahoo fish and a few boxes of Lupe Niue banana chips for their customers in New Zealand.
Exporting talo has been done previously and was often fraught with challenges, such as shipping costs, issues with payments and consistency of supply were some of those challenges. Brad Ikinepule is optimistic saying that with the new and improved online banking systems makes it easier for people to make payments. He said the customers are required to pay ten per cent of the full cost to secure their sack of talo.
In Melbourne Moui Produce is a much bigger operation in terms of logistics because their customers are located in four different states in Australia. The talo will be couriered to their customers in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and as far west to Western Australia. Some of their customers posting their delight on of social media waiting for their Niue grown talo for their Christmas takihi.
Havaka Niue Ltd expects this shipment of frozen talo to reach Auckland by the 17th of December, in time to reach their customers before Christmas. Ikinepule told BCN news that they are happy to help the local talo growers make use of their crops and will be sending another shipment in the first quarter of next year.