AN increase in the number of pearl exports to European markets resulted in J Hunter Pearls Fiji winning the Fisheries Exporter of the Year at the 2014 Westpac Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year Awards last week.
The win adds to the recognition received in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Leanne Hunter of J Hunter Pearls Fiji said they had been exporting pearls since 2005 and had won awards in the past but it was great to be acknowledged.
"It's great to be acknowledged for the value we provide as exporters of a high quality Fiji Made product," she said.
"We are also very appreciative of our government's efforts to support exporters and the hard work done by Investment Fiji.
"We are very thankful for this award and would like to also thank the Savusavu community who continue to support us. We are truly blessed to be farming our pearls in such a beautiful and pristine part of the world."
About 70 to 80 per cent of the pearls produced on farms in Savusavu and Buca Bay are exported to Europe and Mrs Hunter says these products are found mainly in high end jewellery stores around Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
"We are very happy with the relationship we have with our international partner Gellner, whose main headquarters are based in Germany and the work they are doing to market and distribute our Fiji Pearls throughout Europe.
"We plan to continue to expand the farms and look for new potential export markets. We are also excited to continue developing our pearl jewellery collections and hope to create a new export market for these next year."