For the first time this year, Fiji had its own space dedicated to Fijian products at the Auckland Food Show in Auckland on 25-28 July at the ASB Showgrounds.

The Auckland Food Show is the largest food and beverage show in New Zealand with 30,000 attendees visiting across the four days.

Supported by the Fiji Trade Commission to New Zealand, six Fijian companies exhibited at the show promoting, sampling and selling their products to Kiwis.

Fiji Trade Commission Trade & Investment Manager Peter Rudd said, “We're very proud to be able to support these companies and give Fiji a platform at a large scale event in New Zealand alongside many of the country's leading brands.

“We feel the companies we chose are able to compete with their New Zealand peers and have real potential in the food and beverage market here.”

The companies included Bula Coffee, Fijiana Cacao, Vai Wai, Pan Pac, J Punja and Fiji Agromarketing. Many, such as Bula Coffee and Fijiana Cacao are not currently available in any New Zealand retail outlets and used the opportunity to promote their products to distributors along with the public.

While Fijian companies have exhibited at the Auckland Food Show before as part of Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand’s Pacific Hub in past years, this is the first time where Fiji had their own separate space dedicated to purely Fijian products.

“We decided that Fiji was ready to take this next step due to the number of food and beverage companies that are export ready and have brands that can compete with their New Zealand peers,” Rudd said.

“By exhibiting at the Food Show we aim to assist these companies find their way into New Zealand retail stores or expand their reach which will achieve our goal of increasing Fijian exports to New Zealand.”

Fiji Trade & Investment Commission’s Daniel Corbett said the response was positive and there was a lot of interest in the Fijian companies at the booth.

Three other Fijian product companies – Zonah United, Ashon Ventures and 300 Islands exhibited at the collective Pacific Islands booth hosted by Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand which also featured nine companies from Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Niue, besides Fiji.