THE late John Nightingale was a pioneer independent cocoa trader who took the Papua New Guinea cocoa export monopoly away from colonial plantation companies when he established Agmark Pacific Ltd in 1988, according to a local company.
NGIP (New Guinea Islands Produce) Agmark Ltd said this in a statement released to PNG’s National Stock Exchange (PNGX) while expressing its sorrow for the passing of Nightingale, who died of cancer at Lismore Hospital, NSW, on Tuesday, aged 73.
Nightingle was the company’s managing director.
Chairman Donald Manoa said Nightingale and Agmark projected the prices offered to farmers upwards to reach over 80 per cent of European market price. A level, Manoa said, had been a world best practice ever since.
“His company, Agmark Pacific Ltd later merged with the New Guinea Island Produce company to become the NGIP Agmark group and later NGIP Agmark Ltd,” he said.
Other NGIP Agmark businesses include:
- Coffee exporting (Niugini Coffee, Tea & Spice);
- Customs, stevedoring and freight transport (Rabtrans);
- Rugby league franchise (Agmark Gurias);
- Agriculture supplies (Agmark Didiman);
- Shipping (Agmark Shipping);
- Engineering and steel fabrication (Rabweld);
- Heavy equipment and machinery (Agmark Machinery); and,
- Property development.
On Nov 20, 2019, NGIP Agmark Ltd advised PNGX that Nightingale was going on extended medical leave.
Director Steven Nightingale, his son, was appointed chief operating officer by the board.
NGIP Agmark is a diversified agro-business based in PNG operating plantations, coastal shipping, hardware, machinery, trucking, logistics, and stevedoring.
The company also engages in cocoa growing, trade and export.
It is headquartered in Kokopo, East New Britain.