A small Papua New Guinean company specialising in spices and essential oils grows from strength to strength since winning a New Exporter Award over a year ago.
Amruqa has increased its production of virgin coconut oil (VCO) from four tonnes to a minimum of 15 tonnes a month after it procured centrifuge equipment and relevant training support, provided with the assistance of the European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Centrifuge-produced virgin coconut oil is of the highest quality, both for edible and cosmetic purposes. Compared to other coconut oils, centrifuge-produced VCO has excellent and rapid skin absorption properties, making it an ideal carrier for essential oils.
Amruqa’s Quality & Organic Systems Manager, Ms Sharmayne Ryan, said the centrifuge equipment is helping expand their current exports and create new markets for their niche products, such as essential oils.
Based in Rabaul, East New Britain, Amruqa is a production, processing and export company specialising in spices and essential oils. The company employs 30 staff and gets agricultural produce from 218 certified organic producers and 1500 conventional farmer suppliers, mainly in the Baining Ranges.
Last year, Ryan won the SPC EU FACT New Exporter Award for her innovative work with the Komgi community in the Baining Ranges. They marketed and exported cardamom oil and other commodities to Australia, Europe, Fiji, Japan and New Zealand.
Amruqa’s products include spices (cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, pepper, chilli, cinnamon, lemon grass) and essential oils (cardamom, lemon grass, citronella, patchouli, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, peppermint and tea tree).
The FACT Project has also provided technical assistance with nutmeg propagation, research and development of new essential oils, training of producers to improve quality, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), organic certification, and appropriate stills and drying equipment to increase production and quality.
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Caption: Amruqa’s products on display at Trade Pasifika in Nadi.