Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT)

The main goal of the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project is to strengthen the export capacity of Pacific member countries in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock. The project employs a whole-of-supply chain approach, assisting commercial ventures and producer groups to become export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agriculture, forestry and aquaculture products. The project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji and started in June 2011.

Kiritimati Island targets international gourmet markets with its solar salt products

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:36
Chefs inspect a packet of Kiritimati Island Solar Salt during the Trade Pasifika 2012 regional trade exhibition in Nadi, Fiji.

Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, located in the central tropical Pacific, is internationally renowned for its world class Bonefish sport fishing and excellent bird watching and surfing opportunities. However, there is another product that could soon draw the global community’s attention to this remote island that is the world’s largest atoll.

Locals are hoping their Kiritimati Island Solar Salt brand will carve a niche in the international gourmet market. Solar salt, or sea salt (extracted from seawater using the energy of the sun and wind), is generally more expensive than table salt (most of which is so-called rock salt, found on land), and is commonly used in gourmet cooking and cosmetics. Solar salt products from Kiritimati Island are either consumed locally or exported to Japan as a high-quality salt with natural and healthy ingredients.

Consistent year-round weather and numerous salty inland ponds have been a blessing for the solar salt production enterprise on Kiritimati Island.

'We have so much salt that we just have to export it,' said Ereti Tekabaia, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Line and Phoenix Islands Development in the Government of the Republic of Kiribati. The small state-owned industry which began in 1975 produces about 70 to 100 tonnes of solar salt annually.

Ms Tekabaia received several queries – mostly from people in the food industry – about Kiritimati Island Solar Salt products during the regional Trade Pasifika 2012 trade exhibition in Fiji.

‘We are hoping this interest will develop into potential customers,’ she said.

She added that new export markets will create employment in the solar salt industry and help improve the lives of the over 5000 inhabitants of Kiritimati Island, who rely mainly on copra for their livelihood.

Ms Tekabaia attended Trade Pasifika 2012 with support from the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) programme implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), in collaboration with regional partners including SPC, the UNDP Pacific Centre, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Melanesian Spearhead Group, hosted Trade Pasifika 2012 from 25 to 27 June 2012 in Nadi, Fiji.

For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , IACT Team Leader, SPC on +679 3370733 or the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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