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Papua New Guinea

Vanilla smuggling a concern at world market

BY JOAN BAILEY

Smuggling vanilla to the Indonesian border for better prices has affected the volume of Papua New Guinea vanilla on the world market.
Businessman and Papindo Group of Companies Limited managing director Sir Soekandar Tjandra said in the past Indonesia was the second largest vanilla producing country exporting 750 tonnes per year but when the prices dropped, Indonesia exitted the vanilla business because farmers quit farming vanilla due to low income.
Sir Soekandar said Indonesian farmers are now trying to get back into the vanilla industry and PNG vanilla smuggled to the border is bought and entered on the world market as Indonesia vanilla and not PNG vanilla.
Sir Soekandar ventured into the vanilla industry in 2002 and still remains committed to the industry despite the price collapse in 2003.
He said Intec Vanilla Nuigini Limited exports 150 tonnes to 200 tonnes per year to the world market.
“IVNL aims to increase the volume to 400 tonnes per year but vanilla beans street buyers are becoming a risk to put Papua New Guinea as a vanilla producing country on the world market.
“It’s good to have them as competitors in the vanilla industry but they must come and resell at IVNL and not to bring them to the border and resell there.
“IVNL promotes quality and organic PNG vanilla on the world market, exporting only 120 tonnes, while the remaining 80 tonnes is being sold for higher prices at the border and claimed as Indonesian vanilla on the world market,” Sir Soekandar said.
Farmer Andrew Tavarai from Belma village in West Yangoru said competition in the vanilla industry is good, as it maintains a good price at a reasonable level.
Mr Tavarai said street buyers can buy vanilla but must resell to Papindo to increase the volume before exporting to the world market.
“Vanilla street buyers can compete with IVNL but they must remember they don’t have the capacity to sustain the continuity of that industry to grow because problems can occur anytime and we are good at spending then saving,” Mr Tavarai said.

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