Latest Brussels Briefing 46: “Agribusiness development in SIDS: the potential of tourism-related markets”

The latest Brussels Development Briefing n.46 on the subject of “Agribusiness development in SIDS: the potential of tourism-related markets” was held in on 21st September 2016 Brussels at the ACP Secretariat (Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels) from 09:00 to 13:00.  This Briefing will be organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, CONCORD and the ACP Secretariat.

View the coverage on Twitter: @BruBriefings  and #Chefs4Dev

Watch the event via Webstream


Programme and Background Note

Learn More:

Highlights (available soon)


Biodata of the speakers

Watch Chef Robert Oliver’s video on Pacific Cuisine, tourism and agriculture. Chef Oliver is a New Zealand chef who was raised in Fiji and Samoa. In 2013, Robert released “Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia” (Random House) at the request of the Prime Minister of Samoa. This book won the “Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World 2013” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in association with his television series REAL PASIFIK- a series that travels across the Pacific Islands connecting chefs to traditional cuisine and indigenous agriculture. Robert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, is a judge on the hit prime time cooking show “My Kitchen Rules” and is host for the Maori reality cooking show “Marae Kai Masters”


8h15-9h00 Registration

9h00-9h15  Introduction and Opening of the Briefing: Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office

 Introductory remarks: Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary General of the ACP Group of States; Matthew Brooke, Expert Private Sector Development, Europeaid, European Commission; H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform; Michael Hailu Director of CTA

 9h15-10h45 Panel 1: Development of Agribusiness and tourism linkages in SIDS 

This panel with provide an overview of the current status of agribusiness in ACP SIDS, and rationale for linking to tourism markets.

Chair: H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform


– Linking agriculture, tourism and health though Agritourism policy-setting
Howard Aru, Director General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Vanuatu [presentation]

– Towards an agritourism strategy for Samoa: strengths and opportunities
Papali’i Sonja Hunter, CEO, Samoa Tourism Authority and Chair of the SPTO [presentation]

– Best practices in agritourism across the Caribbean
Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean [presentation]

10h45-11h00 Coffee Break

11h00-13h00 Panel 2: Linking agriculture and tourism though collaboration with Chefs

This panel will look at specific examples of successful Chefs who promote local food to tourism markets and are ambassadors of the local and regional cuisine.

Chair: H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform


– Linking farmers to the tourism markets and promoting Pacific cuisine
Robert Oliver, Chef, Author and Television Presenter, The Pacific  [presentation]

– Opportunities in supporting the local industry and promoting agritourism
Charlotte Chan Mow, Chef, The Orator Hotel, Samoa [presentation]

– Celebrating Caribbean cuisine and culinary skills for youth
Peter Edey, Executive Chef, Barbados [presentation]

– Promoting local food and rich Haiti’s gastronomy
Stephan Berrouet Durand, Executive Chef, Culinary by Design, Haiti 

– Foodscape and food tourism in the Caribbean
Rosemary Parkinson, Culinary Author & Contributor, the Caribbean 

Concluding remarks

13h00 Networking Lunch

SIDS infographic

Joint Press Release – 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum





Organised by PIPSO, CTA, IFAD, SPC and SPTO

The 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum held in Apia, Samoa, from 29 August to 1 September organised by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and supported by key regional partners, has not only identified pressing challenges but mostly opportunities and creative solutions focused on the development, partnerships and strengthening of linkages within the agriculture, agritourism, health, education and finance sectors.

“On my right shoulder, you will see a gold medal. It’s our Pacific gold medal. For me it’s a symbol of what we can achieve. Small as we are, under-resourced that we are but with true Pacific spirits and resilience, we can all become gold medallists.” Speaking at the helm on the last day of the forum held at Apia’s Tanoa Tusitala hotel, PIPSO’s chairman, Howard Politini, emphasised that even small nations like ours in the Pacific can achieve great things as shown by Fiji’s sevens rugby team who made history by bringing back Olympic gold medals for the first time in Fiji.

The forum was declared open by Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielerigaoi on Tuesday, who expressed his concerns about food security and the health crisis that we face in the Pacific. “We are indeed blessed with an ocean abundant with marine life, and fertile soils capable of recovering from the worst of natural disasters that if we only take what we need, generations after us will also be fed from the same food baskets. Our farmers are organic by default and organic farming will be our future.”

Approximately 100 attendees experienced an intensive four days of presentations, industry visits, deliberations, and networking beginning with a Women in Agribusiness workshop and the Pacific Women in Agribusiness launch, that ran in parallel to a Chefs Training on Monday; and ending with working group discussions formulating plans, strategies and solutions which will be circulated to the participants for deliberate action straight after the forum.

One of the highlights in the forum was the dinner prepared by trainee chefs who underwent training with famous chefs Robert Oliver and Colin Chung. Organised by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), and supported by PIPSO and CTA, more than 30 local chefs received completion certificates and prepared a dinner for the participants which showcased their talents, skills and creativity in utilising local ingredients for delicious contemporary island cuisines on Tuesday evening. The top-performing trainee chef received an award to visit the Caribbean and learn from her counterparts there. It was announced that more chefs in the Pacific will be awarded with such scholarships through the Chefs for Development project also supported by CTA.

PIPSO’s CEO, Mereia Volavola, has emphasised throughout the forum that clear steps will be taken from the outcomes gathered. This forum has been a real opportunity to hear from stakeholders in the agribusiness and agritourism sectors, and identify key areas for development which will form components of PIPSO’s support into these sectors. This will entail capacity building and linkages between farmers and the tourism industry in the Pacific; support for agritourism, women and youth in agribusiness, and encouraging the use of locally sourced food as they are priority areas that have come out of the forum.

His Excellency Paolelei Luteru, Samoa’s Ambassador to the European Union and Coordinator of the ACP SIDS platform, reiterated a similar message before he declared the forum closed. “This forum will not just be a talkfest. In the Pacific, action is needed. One of the key areas that have been highlighted this week was the call for more multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder partnerships, as well as solutions that have a regional approach.“

The 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum was organised by PIPSO, CTA and IFAD with the support of the EU, Secretariat ACP, South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Samoan Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF).


The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) promotes and inspires the growth of Pacific businesses. It is the premier private sector representative body in the Pacific Islands region, and its members are comprised of the national private sector organisations of the 14 Forum Pacific Island Countries and American Samoa. To learn more visit, or call +679 7736 300.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Their mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. To learn more visit, or call +32 (0) 2 5137436.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub. To learn more visit or call Ron Hartman +62 812 8377 9219.

Event Hashtags: #PacAgriBiz #PacAgriTo

For more information contact: Maria Ronna Luna Pastorizo-­Sekiguchi, PIPSO Communications Consultant Email: | Mobile: +685 7204827 (from 27 August to 4 September 2016)  | +679 7888 400 (from 5 September 2016 onwards)

2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum

Promoting regional trade and agribusiness development in the Pacific




Organised by PIPSO, CTA, IFAD, SPC and SPTO

Apia, Samoa, 29th August – 1st September 2016

**For live updates on Twitter follow #PacAgriBiz and  #PacAgriTo **

New ! articles on agribusiness in the Pacific

Top Chefs showcase Pacific flavours at Regional Agribusiness Forum in Apia, Samoa
Pacific cuisine is to feature as part of the forthcoming 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum, taking place from August 29 to September 1 in Apia, Samoa. A special Chefs Training Programme on “Pacific Contemporary Island Cuisine” will see renowned regional chefs Robert Oliver and Colin Chung provide training on innovative uses of Pacific ingredients and advocate in favour of greater consumption of local products…[Read More]


Programme  and Background Note



Biodata of Speakers


Learn More:

**Draft Programme**

Monday 29th August 2016

Workshop Pacific Women in Agribusiness (9h00-13h00)

Click here for the Workshop page

– Programme  and Background Note

Field visits to Women in Business Development Inc (WIBDI) and Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTEC) (14h00-17h00)

Parallel Chefs Training Programme organised by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) on 29 and 30th August (9h00-17h00) which will culminate with the Chefs for Development Dinner: Contemporary Island Cuisines.

Click here for the Workshop page


Tuesday 30th August 2016

8h00-9h00 Registration

9h00-9h45 Opening session

Formal opening: Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi,
Prime Minister of Samoa

Opening Prayer: Reverend Dr Siaosi Salesulu

Opening remarks:
– Patrick Polacsek, Programme Manager, Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific
– Maximin J. Emagna, Private Sector & Investment Expert, Sustainable Economic Development & Trade Department, Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)
– Papalii Matatamalii Sonja Hunter, Chair Lady, South Pacific Tourism Organisation
– Ronald Hartman Country Director, Asia and the Pacific Division, IFAD

– Isolina Boto, Manage Brussels Office and Project Leader on Regional Trade, CTA
– Mereia Volavola, CEO, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO)

9h45-10h15 Coffee break and group photo

10h15-11h45 Session 1: Opportunities for the Pacific Agrifood Sector in local markets: trends and successes in promoting quality, nutritious and healthy food

This panel will feature opportunities and successes in local and regional markets in key value chains aimed at reducing the import bill and contributing to nutrition security. Special focus will address added-value and processed food and strengthening the capacities of local producers to supply more food to meet demands for nutritious and healthy diets.
Moderator: H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform
– Key value chains in the Pacific region: successes and new opportunities
Mereia Volavola, CEO, Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) [presentation]
– MSG agrifood exports and strategy in support of agrifood producers
Henry Sanday, Private Sector Development Advisor, MSG [presentation]
– Promoting consumption of fruits & vegetables: opportunities in local markets
Michael Finau Brown, CEO, Nature’s Way Cooperative [presentation]
– Successes in Hydroponics: promoting consumption of fresh vegetables
James Douglas, Owner, Niue Fresh Hydroponics [presentation]
– Agriculture and nutrition linkages: lessons for policy
Desmond Lee-Hang, National University of Samoa [presentation]

11h45-13h15 Session 2: Strengthening the organisation of the value chain actors for improved market access

The purpose of this session is to explore ways on how to effectively engage farmers into the supply chain and change the culture and attitude towards farming, supply and development and promote entrepreneurship.
Moderator: Ronald Hartman, Country Director, Asia and the Pacific Division, IFAD
– Strengthening farmer’s organisations to better access markets
Afamasaga Toleafoa, Chairman, Pacific Islands Farmer Organisations Network (PIFON) [presentation]
– Improved market access for high-value vegetable products through participant guarantee system
Rob Erskine Smith, Agribusiness Expert, PGS Project Leader
– From Farm to Table: Building the capacity of farmers for the local and export markets
Vargas Rasch, Senior Field Officer, Women in Business Development Inc (WIBDI), Samoa 
– Strengthening farmers and communities to boost local and export production
Isoa Tubuna, Island Express Limited, Fiji [presentation]
– Strengthening youth and women entrepreneurship: best practices
Asif Chida, Inclusive Growth and Private Sector Specialist, UNDP Pacific Centre

13h15-14h30 Lunch

14h30-16h00 Ensuring quality compliance of quality standards for value-added products

This session will look at the compliance of standards for inclusive value chains and the need to strengthen capacities of the operators. A real case example and how the marketing company developed the branding and marketing of the company’s product will be shared.
Moderator: Laulu Mac Leauanae, CEO, Pacific Cooperation Foundation
– Importance of Food Safety standards in value adding
Api Cegumalua, Consultant, Fiji [presentation]
– Sustainability standards
Morag Webb, Policy Advisor, Coleacp [presentation]
– Certification processes for key markets
Bob Wyllie, Vanuatu Direct
– Successes/opportunities in organic production: Pacific Organic Tourism & Hospitality Standard
Karen Mapusua, Secretariat of the Pacific Community [presentation]

18h00-19h00 CTA-IFAD-PIPSO Project Grow Healthy: Launch and Cocktail.
Tanoa Tusitala Hotel

19h00-22h00 Chefs for Development: Contemporary Island Cuisine
prepared by the Chefs attending the Chef Training, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel

Wednesday 31st August 2016

9h00-9h30 Summary Day 1

9h30-13h00 Session 3: Addressing tourism-related markets: from policy to practice

This session will build upon the findings and successes developed from the 1st Pacific Agribusiness Forum in terms of promoting multisectoral and multistakeholder approaches to strengthen linkages between agriculture, tourism, trade and health sectors. It will look at policies and practices promoting local sourcing for improved quality and heathy food. It will feature the first agritourism policy-setting work being developed by Vanuatu and “Buy Samoan-made” trend.

9h30-11h15 Strengthening the chain actors to in serving tourism markets and branding the region as quality food destination
Moderator: Chris Addison, Regional Coordinator for the Pacific, CTA
– Trends in the tourism industry and factors influencing tourist choice of holiday destination and food consumed.
Chris Cocker, CEO, South Pacific Tourism Organization [presentation]
– What do we know about tourism expectations?
Dawn Gibson, Senior Lecturer Tourism and Hospitality, School of Tourism and Hospitality, USP [presentation]
– ACP-EU experiences in promoting food tourism
Isolina Boto, Project Leader Regional Trade, CTA [presentation]
– Successes in the Pacific in linking agriculture and tourism: the perspective of Chefs
Chef Robert Oliver [presentation]
– Successes in the Caribbean in linking agriculture and tourism
Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean [presentation]
– How Chefs can promote health and nutrition values of food
Chef Colin Chung

11h15-11h45 Coffee break

11h45-13h00  The Vanuatu context: linking agriculture, tourism and health through agritourism policy-setting
Moderator: Hobart Va’ai, Chief Executive Officer, Samoa Chamber of Commerce
– From policy to practice: linkages of agriculture with trade and tourism
Kathy Garoleo, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism
– Towards an agritourism strategy: New business opportunities
Ross Hopkins, Principal, TRIP Consultants [presentation]
– The role of the private sector in promoting cross-sectoral linkages
Terry Adlington, Managing Director, Tanna Coffee, Vanuatu
– Perspective from an agritourism experience
Carolyn Ernst, Yo Ku Farm Rentaboa

13h00-14h15 Lunch

14h15-15h30  ‘Buy Samoan-made’
This session will present some of the iconic Samoa products which contribute to brand the island.
Moderator: Sakiusa Tubuna, Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Pacific Asia and the Pacific Division, IFAD
– Towards an agritourism strategy for Samoa: strengths and opportunities
Papalii Matatamalii Sonja Hunter, CEO, Samoa Tourism Association
– “Buy Samoa Made” Export Drive
Colin Stringer, Technical Advisor, Samoa Association of Manufacturers (SAME)
– Organic Nonu juice
Garry Vui, Managing Director, Nonu Samoa entreprises Ltd
– Samoa Nonu Delights
Faumuina Apulu Lance Polu, General Manager
– The branding and marketing strategies
Apia Bottling Company

15h30-16h00 Support programmes in the agribusiness sector
– The Pacific Agricultural Policy Programme (PAPP), SPC
Cheryl Thomas, Policy research Officer, SPC
– COLEACP: E-learning Platform
Morag Webb, Policy Advisor, Coleacp
– Agribusiness support through PIPSO online platform
Maria Ronna Luna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi, Communications Expert, PIPSO

16h00-16:15 Coffee break

16h15-17h15 Working group sessions

Thursday 1st September 2016

9h00-9h30 Summary Day 2

9h30-11.00 Session 4: Agribusiness Financing: Innovative financial Solutions to support Agribusiness

This session will look at what is constraining SMEs and how can financial institutions provide workable solutions for sustainable agribusiness development.
Moderator: Mereia Volavola, CEO, PIPSO
– Supporting SMEs in the Samoan Context – What works and what does not work?
Alatina Ioelu, Chief Executive Office, Small Business Enterprises Centre, Samoa [presentation]
– Developing Agribusiness Financial Products – Is there a market for it and how should products be developed?
Napolioni Batimala, Chief Executive Office, Merchant Finance Limited, Fiji
– Challenges in lending to Agribusiness SMEs and how can access to finance to agribusiness improved?
Susana Laulu, Chief Executive Office, Development Bank of Samoa
– Partnering with Developments in lending to Farmers- the Nadarivatu Farmers Project (Fiji)
Howard Politini, PIPSO Chairperson, and the General Manager Human Resources at Bank South Pacific [presentation]
– Business support services and financing sustainable agribusinesses: improving product quality
Ian Buck, Facility Manager, ADB Samoa AgriBusiness Project [presentation]
– Areas of support from EIB to the agribusiness sector
Adam Bruun, Head of Office, Regional Office for the Pacific,European Investment Bank [presentation]

11h00-11h30 Coffee break

11h30-11h45 Women in agribusiness
– Mereia Volavola, CEO, PIPSO

11h45-13h00 Working group sessions

13h00-14h15 Lunch

14h15-15h45 Final session
Based on previous input and discussions in working groups, this session will make few actionable recommendations for short, long and medium term.
It will: (i) generate ideas for a regional project on sustainable sourcing from small-scale farmers and value addition in the agribusiness sector; (ii) identify upscaling opportunities for linking small-scale farmers to domestic markets and the tourism industry in the Pacific; (iii) determine sources of support, institutions and strategic alliances needed to strengthen relations between chain actors in the Pacific for nutritious and healthy food.

15h45-16h15 Closure