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Suva, FIJI – September 1, 2020: 3:22pm (RNZ PACIFIC): Fiji Kava Limited has announced it’s expanding its operations to China because the market is more lucrative than in other countries such as New Zealand.

FijiKava aims to have a sustainable supply chain of the crop. Photo: FIJIKAVA

Chief Executive Zane Yoshida said his company’s products were being sold to China’s medicine, personal care and pharmaceutical industry and there would also be e-Commerce opportunities.

Yoshida said sales were projected to rake in at least $US5.8 million for Fiji Kava over the next three years.

“So if you look at that versus New Zealand, it’s certainly a substantially larger market given that China is the second largest market in the world in relation to vitamins and supplements estimated at $AU40 billion ($US29bn).”

Yoshida said given Chinese consumers’ understanding and acceptance of traditional medicines over thousands of years, kava was a “natural stick” in the market.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, beneficial effects of kava included “relaxation, euphoria, anti-convulsion, neuroprotection, analgesia and attenuation of menopausal symptoms”.

Consumed across the Pacific islands, kava is produced by crushing the stems of the root which releases a chemical scientists call kavalacones. The crushed root is then mixed with water before being consumed.

In a landmark partnership sealed this week, the company said PuMate (Shanghai) Limited was its authorised distributor in China.

FijiKava founder Zane Yoshida. Photo: Fiji govt/Facebook

Yoshida said PuMate had a proven track record in distributing international food ingredients, sports nutrition and infant nutritional products in China including other leading Australian brands.

He referred to the Australian Stock Exchange-listed Fiji Kava Ltd as a medicinal kava health and wellness company producing natural ‘noble kava’ products.

“The partnership agreement is one of Fiji Kava’s most significant commercial milestones to date.

“PuMate is an affiliated company of PMM Company Limited (PMM) and distributes international food ingredients, sports nutrition and infant nutritional products across China.”

Fiji Kava Chair Dr Andrew Kelly said the agreement created a major new opportunity for the company to enter China’s vitamin and supplements market.

“We are delighted to partner with PuMate, an established and reputable company with proven experience in our sector and in successfully distributing products of other leading Australian brands to China, including Bubs Australia.”

PuMate founder Chi Li said his company looked forward to bringing Fiji Kava’s products to the Chinese vitamin and supplement market.

Yoshida said Fiji Kava now had “cornerstone” agreements in place with Blackmores-owned BioCeuticals, Coles Supermarkets in Australia and Green Cross Pharmacy in New Zealand.

He said the company had also expanded its e-Commerce presence on Amazon in the United States.

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