Update: 3:17PM JAPAN is not always an easy market to access but the successful penetration of Heilala Vanilla is proof that Pacific products have an assured place in the 'taste buds' of Asians.
Those were the sentiments of EU-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) Project team leader Samu Turagacati.
He made reference to a recent program implemented in Tonga aimed at revitalising the vanilla industry.
Heilala Vanilla's expansion in the Japanese markets is a proud achievement for the company, and holds much promise for vanilla producers in Tonga, he said in a statement this week.
Owner Jennifer Boggiss said they were well on their way to achieving their mission to become a globally recognised premium vanilla brand that was available in all the best restaurants and was used by premium food manufacturers around the world.
The third shipment of Heilala Vanilla products was expected to be exported to Hon Takasagoya Company Limited soon.