Programme 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum

Promoting regional trade and agribusiness development in the Pacific


Organised by PIPSO, CTA, IFAD, SPC and SPTO    

Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Apia, Samoa

29th August -1st September 2016 

Monday 29 August 2016

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

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

Parallel Chefs Training Programme are 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. 

Tuesday 30 August 2016

8h00-9h00: Registration

9h00-9h45: Opening session

Opening Prayer: Reverend Dr Siaosi Salesulu 

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

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)
  • MSG agrifood opportunities and strategy in support of agrifood producers. Henry Sanday, Private Sector Development Advisor, MSG
  • Promoting consumption of fruits & vegetables: opportunities in local markets. Michael Finau Brown, CEO, Nature’s Way Cooperative
  • Successes in Hydroponics: promoting consumption of fresh vegetables. James Douglas, Owner, Niue Fresh Hydroponics
  • Agriculture and nutrition linkages: lessons for policy. Desmond Lee-Hang, National University of Samoa

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 entrepreunership.

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)
  • 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
  • Stregthening 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
  • Labelling and Packaging in value added products (i.e. nutritional values). Morag Web, Policy Advisor, Coleacp
  • Branding and Marketing to promote or increase the sale of products: the case of Koko Samoa Tagaloa. Eddie Wilson, President, Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (SAME)
  • 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

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

19h00-22h00: Chefs for Development: Contemporary Island Cuisines (prepared by the Chefs attending the Chef Training). Tanoa Tusitala Hotel

Wednesday 31 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 in serving tourism markets and branding the region as quality food destination

Moderator: Chris Addison, CTA Regional Coordinator for the Pacific.


  • Trends in the tourism industry and factors influencing tourist choice of holiday destination and food consumed. Chris Cocker, CEO, South Pacific Tourism Organization
  • What do we know about tourism expectations? Dawn Gibson, Senior Lecturer Tourism and Hospitality, School of Tourism and Hospitality, USP
  • ACP-EU experiences in promoting food tourism. Isolina Boto, Project Leader Regional Trade, CTA
  • Successes in the Pacific in linking agriculture and tourism: the perspective of Chefs. Chef Robert Oliver
  • Successes in the Caribbean in linking agriculture and tourism. Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean
  • 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


  • Main drivers of the agritourism policy for Vanuatu. Howard Aru, Director General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Vanuatu
  • 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
  • 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, Samao 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

15h30-15h50:  Support programmes in the agrifood sector

  • The Pacific Agricultural Policy Programme (PAPP), SPC. Cheryl Thomas, Policy research Officer, SPC
  • COLEACP: E-learning Platform. Morag Webb, Policy Advisor, Coleacp

15h50-16h15 Coffee break

16h15-17h15 Working group sessions

Thursday 1 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 Loelu, Chief Executive Office, Small Business Entreprises Centre, Samoa
  • 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
  • Business support services and financing sustainable agribusinesses: improving product quality. Ian Buck, Facility Manager, ADB Samoa AgriBusiness Project

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:

  • generate ideas for a regional project on sustainable sourcing from small-scale farmers and value addition in the agribusiness sector;
  • identify upscaling opportunities for linking small-scale farmers to domestic markets and the tourism industry in the Pacific;
  • 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