Kava quality and Standards , challenges faced by the industry
With our production increasing, we need to make sure our markets develop also, and for kava markets to develop, we need to insure kava exported follow some quality standards.
Those standards are generally a combination of the exporter own standard, the oversea importer requirement , and of course the country of export own quality requirements ( i.e Vanuatu Kava Quality standard and the Vanuatu Kava Act). Kava is a food , in a similar way as coffee or tea, so the same requirements and standards apply.
At the occasion of the World Standard Day on 13th October 2019, the Vanuatu Bureau oF Standard ( Ex. Food Lab😅) organized a forum, and we were given the opportunity to share our experience and the issues that the kava Industry are trying to address.
KAVA QUALITY AND STANDARDS- An Exporter perspective.
Lots of potential factors can affect the quality of our kava exported.
A quick overview in pictures below:
Mouldy kava chips
The water used is treated by Uv to avoid potential re contamination through contaminated water. The presence of UV treatment unit for water is a Bio Security requirement for all kava exporters in Vanuatu.
Kava is re- dried to make sure moisture content is low enough to stop mould development and microbial growth
Between the purchase in the island and the actual quantity exported , there is a loss often more than 15%!!
Kava is then packed in new poly bags and ready to Biosecurity inspection and National bureau of standard analysis before getting the green light to be exported.
There had been huge progress in the standards of the operators to improve the quality exported, but there are still room for improvement all along the value chain .
Kava is a food and should be treated as such , with respect, respecting GOod Agricultural Practice and Food Handling basics 😎✌️