Kava is a traditional beverage for the pacific islanders including Vanuatu and has an important contribution to the culture and tradition of Vanuatu. There are 10 noble varieties of kava suitable for consumption and since its commercialisation as a prescribed commodity, its demand has been increasing in domestic and international markets. It is a commodity that has been increasing in value over the past years and it has become one of the main source of income for local farmers.
Despite the international interest in researching for impacts of kava consumption, the demand nationally and internationally is ever increasing. However researches has shown that kava consumption does not contribute to any causes of sickness. Biosecurity has the mandate to approve and certify exports of kava and this includes quality standards of kava.
Obtaining a Kava export license
- Kava export facility must meet the minimal requirements set out in the Biosecurity OPS-014 Kava Quality Management Procedures (Export).
- Inspection of the facility will be based on the OPS-014 and when all requirements are met, a facility certification will be provided by Biosecurity Vanuatu.
- Upon receipt of the facility certification, a license can be obtained from Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board (VCMB) which VCMB will depend much on the certification of facility to give a license.
- Exports will begin once a license is issued.
- Audit of facility is done annually and must maintain all requirements to continue exports.
Regulation of Kava production and exports is regulated under the Kava Act of 2002. The Kava Act reserves the trade of kava to be indigenous owned or 50% owned in partnership with an indigenous.
Requirements to meet Quality Standards
- Skin is peeled off
- 5% moisture content
- Samples will be collected and tested for kavalactone and flavokavin content
- High content of flavokavin will be rejected
Kava could be certified and exported as
- Grounded chips
- Grounded roots