Committee keeps close watch

Savenaca Cuquma, a member of the Kava Taksforce Committee inspects dried grog at Balawaviriki in Cakaudrove. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Kava Taskforce Committee is working closely with CODEX to ensure that it meets requirements and standards of export to European countries.

In an interview with this newspaper, Vio Veretawatini the committee’s acting chairman, said this was imperative to help with exporting of kava to the EU markets.

CODEX or also known as Food Safety Body gives the green light for exporting purposes into the European markets.

“About 10 or 20 years ago Fiji kava was banned from the EU markets and they stated two factors which was a risk to humans and not safe as food,” Mr Veretawatini said.

“Those were the two reasons they mentioned to World Trade Organisation but that has been lifted.

“However, we are working on documenting our kava with scientific details and the alcohol level as well which will be known as kava lacto.

“These kind of alcohol levels are shown on liquor bottles but not on kava packs so we are doing that now as a requirement from CODEX.”

Tests to determine the kava lacto, he said were being done by the University of the South Pacific.

“USP is helping us on this as we try to improve our scientific details and documentation of kava when exporting the product,” Mr Veretawatini said.

“So we are carrying out tests to ensure that the kava is also safe for human consumption.”

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