Policy setting for improved linkages between agriculture, trade and tourism:

Strengthening the local agrifood sector and promoting healthy food in agritourism


Workshop organised by the Government of Vanuatu and CTA
in collaboration with IICA and PIPSO 

Port-Vila, Vanuatu, 25-27 May
Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa, Erakor Lagoon, Port Vila

Vanuatu policy setting 2016

Tourism is the lifeblood of many Pacific economies and agritourism provides a promising avenue for diversification and trade growth. High quality, nutritious and healthy food, available every day of the year, is critical to hotels, lodges and resorts. Often the food purchasing bill of a tourism site is large in comparison to the size of the local economy, yet surprisingly little of this is spent locally, even when supplies are available from farmers, fishermen and small-scale agribusinesses. The challenges of shifting food-sourcing to local suppliers are considerable – achieving this in a way that meets commercial needs and customer preferences and meets food and safety requirements would be one way in which tourism operations can significantly increase their contribution to local economic development.

Tourism has the potential to stimulate demand in the agriculture sector, promote healthy and nutritious food and strengthen the use of local products, so it is important to create linkages between the two, and to develop a policy on agritourism. In addition to the strong economic value of developing a sustainable tourism sector, enhancing the linkages between tourism and agriculture represents an important potential mechanism to stimulate and strengthen traditional local producers and processors and to improve the distribution of benefits along the chain as well as generate investment incentives for local production. The trade policy environment should be more favourable to the private sector and investment, while supporting local entrepreneurs and SMEs through appropriate measures that address import substitution, notably in the form of tariff and non tariff barriers.

Linkages between agriculture, health and tourism not only potentially increase opportunities for domestic agriculture earnings, new markets and product development and therefore sustainable economic growth, but also offer opportunities to help develop visitor attractions and distinctive tourism destination brands through the creative use and marketing of local produce and production techniques, and use of local landscapes. In order to acquire these benefits, the tourism industry needs to be proactive in utilizing local, high quality, healthy and niche agricultural products in touristic sites and events.

Vanuatu has the natural and cultural potential to develop a point of difference in its tourism policy and diversifying its economic sectors can increase resilience of food systems and incomes for rural communities. A policy on agritourism will also develop linkages with the health sector ensuring that it supports national campaigns towards nutritious and healthy food (embedded in the concept of quality food referred above).


New! latest Agritourism News & Resources

Press!  latest press coverage of the event

CTA article on the event

IICA article on the event


Background Note & Programme



Biodata of Speakers

Additional materials:

1st Pacific Agribusiness Forum Linking the Agrifood Sector to the Tourism-related Markets (Denarau Island, Fiji, 1-3 July 2015)

BB. 37 Reader – Building resilience of SIDS through agricultural trade and agribusiness development

Capacity4Dev: Blog – Building Resilience of Small Island Economies

Vanuatu agritourism policy setting day 1

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Summary of Day 1 [PDF]

Opening remarks [PDF]

  • Howard Aru, Director General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Vanuatu
  • George Borugu, Director, Department of Tourism and Acting Director-General of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism
  • Isolina Boto, Manager, Project Coordinator for Regional Trade, CTA
  • Mereia Volavola, CEO, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO)
  • Honourable Matai Seremaiah Nawalu, Minister of Trade, Tourism, Cooperatives, Industry and Ni-Vanuatu Business [speech]

 Session 1: Setting the scene: what do we know about opportunities to  support linkages between agriculture, health and tourism
This session set the scene on the opportunities that the tourism sector can bring and the needed linkages with other sectors such as agriculture and trade. It looked at successful models in other parts of the world and what could of interest to Vanuatu agritourism policy.

Moderator: Vanuatu

  • Setting the scene: A agritourism policy for Vanuatu
    Howard Aru, Director General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Vanuatu
  • Global trends and evolution of agritourism and food tourism
    Isolina Boto, Manager and project leader for regional trade, CTA
  • Overview of the Caribbean and Latin American best practices
    Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean [presentation]
  • Best practices in agribusiness development in the Pacific
    Mereia Volavola, CEO, PIPSO [presentation]
  • Overview of the agritourism initiatives in the Pacific
    Cheryl Thomas, Policy Research Officer, Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP), SPC [presentation]

Moderated discussion on key messages for Vanuatu context (45 mn)

 The Vanuatu context: opportunities for agritourism development
This session looked at the Vanuatu context.  It aimed to reach a better common understanding of the opportunities in agritourism in Vanuatu. It also  assessed the situation in the key areas important to set up an agritourism policy.

Moderator: Vanuatu

  • Overview of main agricultural and fisheries fresh and processed products with potential for the tourism-related markets
    Jimmy Andeng, Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Overview of tourism development
    Robert Avio, Second Political Advisor, Ministry of Tourism, Vanuatu [presentation]
  • Opportunities and requirements for tourist markets
    Ruth Amos, Manager of Food Centre, Ministry of Trade, Vanuatu [report | presentation]
  • Supplying certified fresh and added value food to the hospitality sector
    Cornelia Wyllie, Vanuatu Direct
  • Experiences in engaging farmers with the tourism sector
    Oliver Lato, Farm Support Association [presentation]

 The Vanuatu context: linking nutrition and health for quality food

  • Health and nutrition: the case of NCDs in Vanuatu
    Myriam Abel, WHO technical advisor to Health Promotion and NCD unit, Department of Public Health  [presentation]
    John Tasserei, Officer In Charge (OIC), Health Promotion Unit, Department of Public Health 
  • Nutrition and health: promoting healthy food and policies to improve diet quality
    Tim Martyn, FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific Islands, Samoa [presentation]
  • Experiences from organic production and Pacific Tourism & Hospitality Standard
    Nambo Moses, Chairman, POETCom [presentation]
  • Experiences from the Caribbean on nutrition and health focus on agritourism markets
    Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean [presentation]

General moderated discussion on agriculture, tourism and health

Working groups in each of the 3 areas identified  key elements of the strategy/policy on agritourism and proposed actions.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Summary of Day 2 [PDF]

 Session 2: Promoting agritourism through value addition, quality branded products

    Feedback from the working groups

    Promoting quality and safe products
This session discussed key areas to promote quality and safe products needed for the tourism-markets and will present specific examples of success.

  • Meeting food safety standards to upgrade
    Henry Sanday, Private sector Development Advisor, MSG
  • Certification processes for creating a sustainable supply chain
    Karen Mapusua, Coordinator, POETCom
  • Branding and labeling: focus on nutritional values
    Ministry of Trade
  • Branding quality Vanuatu products: developments ahead
    Adela Aru, Principal Product Development Officer, Manager of Vanuatu Tourism
  • Linking farmers to agribusiness for quality products: the case of Tanna coffee
    Terry Adlington, Managing Director, Tanna Coffee, Vanuatu
  • Value chain training to build sustainable continuity of supply to meet demand: Lessons learned from the Caribbean
    Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean  [presentation]

Working groups discussed the three areas and the needed elements to establish a platform promoting in linkages between Heath, Agriculture and Tourism

Presentation in plenary and discussion

 Friday 27 May 2016

Summary of Day 3 [PDF]

 Session 3: Celebrating Vanuatu Food and Cuisine

Chefs for Development: the link between agriculture & cuisine

This session looked at the role of chefs and the hospitality sector in stimulating demand of local products and its use by chefs. It shared experiences from other regions.

  • Best practices and new opportunities in sourcing local food by the Chefs
    Chef Christopher Bulememe, Vanuatu Culinary Chefs Association
  • Chefs for Development: linking Chefs and other agribusiness actors
    Mereia Volavola, PIPSO; Isolina Boto, CTA; Ena Harvey, IICA

Discussions with other Chefs, farmers, Experts form the various Ministries.

  Promoting Food festivals and Food celebrations

 Concrete examples were presented which could inspire the Agritourism Week.

 Developing the Agritourism Policy Framework
Based on previous input and discussions in working groups, this session looked at the main elements to establish an Agritourism policy. It also designed the format of the Week of agritourism to be held later in the year and to become an annual national event.

Conclusion—Moderator provided concluding remarks focusing on agreed future actions


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