HACCP Certified – PNG Coconut SMEs on the Go!
The Micro, Small to Medium Enterprise (MSME) development program on downstream processing of coconut into high value coconut products (HVCP) commenced in 2014 after the Government of PNG appropriated funding under the Public Investment Program (PIP) Budget. Through this program, the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (KIK) set it’s Hazzard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) framework which includes Food Safety and Quality Standards for all coconut products purposely to guide all MSMEs to comply to international food safety standards. The HACCP standards are aligned to the Codex Alimentarius which sets the international food safety standards.
HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. The HACCP Accreditation is one of the minimum export requirements the MSMEs need to obtain in order to enter into the international markets.
There are currently fourteen (14) active coconut MSMEs that are registered with KIK and other three (3) with initial dialogue;
1. Foundation of Women in Agricultural Development (FOWIAD) – Maprik, East Sepik Province
2. Weni & Mandol Investments Ltd – Wewak, East Sepik Province
3. Kumul Organics – Madang, Madang Province
4. Amruqa – Gazelle, East New Britain Province
5. Rabaul VCO Ltd – Rabaul, East New Britain Province
6. Maku Gifts – Kokopo, East New Britain Province
7. Tropic Frond Oils Ltd – Gazelle, East New Britain Province
8. Maxtone Haus (Oshin Organics) – Kimbe, West New Britain Province
9. Loloho VCO – Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville
10. Manus Herbal Products – Lorengau, Manus Province
11. Emirau Marine Products – Kavieng, New Ireland Province
12. Aikane Ltd – Namatanai, New Ireland Province
13. Hanamoa Estate – Abau, Central Province
14. Aroma Coconut Products Cooperative – Abau, Central Province
Three (3) MSMEs in initial dialogue:
15. Ambuat Estates – Port Moresby, National Capital District
16. Milne Bay Organics – Alotau, Milne Bay Province
17. Bougainville Virgin Coconut Products – South Bougainville, AROB
These MSMEs have gone into downstream processing of HVCP including: virgin coconut oil (VCO), coconut body oils/lotions/creams, coconut soap, coconut stockfeed and coconut handicrafts such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces. All of these MSMEs have been trading domestically but have shown interest in breaking into the international markets. A few have tapped into markets overseas including: Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
In 2016, KIK started partnership with the Australia Government funded program, the Pacific Horticulture & Agriculture Market Access or PHAMA, in assisting coconut MSMEs develop and improve their products to meet export requirements, and access global markets.
KIK in collaboration with PHAMA formed an industry working group in 2016 as a platform for the MSMEs to meet with public and private stakeholders and discuss quality standards for coconut products, market access issues and other export development matters. So far there have been awareness and training programmes for the MSMEs on food safety, product quality standards, market access and export requirements of which the HACCP accreditation is one.
The first PNG coconut MSME to receive the HACCP Australian certificate was Weni & Mandol Investments Ltd based in Wewak, East Sepik Province. Weni & Mandol Investments produce VCO, coconut soap and VCO meal. They sell their products at local shops in Wewak town and also supply Lae and the Highlands region. Some samples have been taken to Israel through network of friends.
On 16th October 2018, Weni & Mandol Investments Ltd received their HACCP Australia certificate. The Certificate Presentation Ceremony was held at the Weni & Mandol premises. PHAMA Country Manager, Mr Sidney Suma handed over the HACCP Accreditation Certificate to the KIK Managing Director, Dr James Kaiulo who handed over the certificate to East Sepik Provincial Administrator, Dr Clement Malau, as the Provincial Head. Dr Malau then presented the certificate to the Owner of Weni & Mandol Investments, Mr Anton Areka. Others who were present to witness the ceremony included DAL Acting Secretary, Mr Francis Daink, Mr Steven Raphael (KIK Board of Directors Deputy Chairman), Mr Alan Aku (KIK Industry Services GM), Mr Chris Magaya (KIK Corporate Services GM), other KIK staff, and invited guests from Weni & Mandol Investments as well as their employees.
During his speech, Mr Areka said that it was like receiving a key that opened the door to a room filled with international players. “To be part of such a group will be challenging”, he said. He went on further in acknowledging and thanking KIK and PHAMA for their ongoing support.
There are two other SMEs that will follow include: Rabaul VCO Ltd and Tropic Frond Oils Ltd. Both SMEs are based in East New Britain province.