Governor says ban will help local production


EAST Sepik Governor Allan Bird says the ban on illegal vanilla trading at the PNG-Indonesian border will help production here for the global market.
Welcoming the ban yesterday, Bird said: “Right now there are low quality vanilla beans being sold and there is a lot of stealing of unripe beans from vanilla growers in the province.
“It’s a timely intervention. Vanilla prices are going to soften by the end of this year as Madagascar production recovers.
“Vanilla importers from Indonesia will abandon Sepik producers like they did in 2004. We have to learn from the mistakes of the past.
“PNG exporters must be forced to obtain long term contracts directly with vanilla users and not sell through intermediate traders.
“Our long term interest as vanilla producers will only be served by going directly to market and not by going through third party traders.
“If we don’t do this quickly, then by next year much of our vanilla will be left rotting in the villages when price fall and the Indonesian market disappears.
“At the moment, vanilla suppliers from other countries who can’t get vanilla from Madagascar are using East Sepik vanilla as an insurance policy. So as soon as vanilla production in Madagascar comes back on line, they will abandon our producers.
“The other problem we face is the low standard for vanilla trading on the border. Indonesian traders will buy anything and everything.
“There is little regard for quality vanilla in response to the demand. The trading of low quality vanilla results in a rush for beans and stealing of immature beans occurs in our village gardens.”