Bruns Export owner Joseph Brun has confirmed his export relationship with the United States of America is back on track with two more kava varieties included.
Bruns Export recently completed a New York kava shipment which has left a memorable impression with the overseas clients.
“We just did two shipments both to New York in the US, it will be very interesting because the clients want more quantity as soon as they taste the trials,” he said.
According to Mr. Brun, his US clients used to source kava from Hawaii, however after tasting Vanuatu’s brown gold, demand could pivot towards the South Pacific island nation.
“I think the company that has been doing that (sourced kava) from Hawaii so they are thinking of getting Vanuatu kava because of the quality and the premium taste the kava produces.
“We could be the next person for the frozen export in a bigger quantity.”
With COVID-19 closing the borders, Bruns Export took a hit financially as his business slowly came to a standstill, however, it’s surprisingly gaining momentum quickly with the US markets.
“At the end of 2019-mid 2020 the virus was just a shock and the clients put everything on hold and we were sort of stuck, I think it was 60 or 70% short of supply but now it is starting to pick up especially in the US because of the routine as well from here to the US it’s quiet flexible.”
The kava exporter mentioned that European markets pose a bigger challenge with exporting kava, since COVID 19, shipping routes have been affected and freight prices have increased.
“Europe it is quite difficult to find other routes connecting (to the clients) other costs are sky rocketing as well because of the freight, we just going along with the flow in terms of markets in Europe but in US everything is back up to normal.”
All in all, with the inclusion of two other kava varieties aside from the normal five, which has been welcomed by overseas customers, nearing the end of 2020 has been a good year for Bruns Export.
“This year we have added in two more varieties from Tanna and Ambrym, so it is exciting to see if we can push that as well into the market, this is our focus now.”
Mr. Brun added that US clients have shown interest in incorporating green kava with their product, which will be an opportunity for cross promotion of a Vanuatu product in the US.
“The clients also want to process this green frozen kava into their brand especially in US that’s where all our markets are, they will be branding that into their own brand with our logo somewhere on the corner of their brand, at the same time it promotes our business.”
The bigger demand in the US will reflect positively on the rural economy, which will stimulate growth for the agriculture sector, which is something Mr. Brun is keen on seeing through.
“In terms of frozen kava, we’ve did a few shots to US and they loved it and they actually looking for bigger quantities in terms of containers so hopefully soon the farmers will be happy and will be buying from registered farmers, we are looking forward for this initiative, it will be more favourable for us and the farmers as well.”
Bruns Export has been exporting kava for nearly eight years now and remains optimistic on the challenges ahead.