Samoa witnesses Pacific Island Food Revolution premiere

Samoa launched the world premiere of the Pacific Island Food Revolution (P.I.F.R.) at Apollo Cinema on Wednesday. 

Hosted by the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions, N.Z High Commissioner to Samoa Dr. Trevor Matheson said food is a cultural cornerstone of the Pacific.

“It is an initiative like the P.I.F.R. that has the potential to influence choices toward an ‘eat fresh, eat local’ lifestyle, which in the long-term, will have a positive effect on reducing non-communicable diseases.” 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi urged the Samoan people to go back to eating Samoan traditional foods.

“Food has always been an important aspect of our pacific gatherings provided opportunities - it is a platform to promote healthy eating through the consumption of our very own fresh, local indigenous foods.

“With the high number of non-communicable diseases today associated with food choices is one of the government’s priorities is to address these issues like obesity in children as these diseases are among the leading causes of mortality in Samoa.

“This initiative will strengthen and compliment to assist in efforts in promoting healthy eating in choices on the consumption of local produce.

“It is an educational platform through the use of technology to encourage the responsible use of social media to unite a positive change in our eating behavior and a healthier Samoa campaign,” he added.

P.I.F.R. is a social movement using the power of reality TV, radio, and social media to change people’s eating behavior. It was developed by celebrity chef Robert Oliver. 

The Revolution will activate local cuisine knowledge and turn a mirror on the Pacific itself that reveals that eating fresh, local, indigenous foods is the answer to good health.

It covers four countries - Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa – in 12 episodes.

The reality TV programme is like My Kitchen Rules but is subtly kinder and filled with Pacific heritage and humour.

The challenges in the TV competition will look to provide solutions that people have identified as barriers to healthy eating such as convenience, as taste and affordability.

P.I.F.R. is jointly funded by the governments of Australia (Department of Foreign Affairs – Innovation Exchange) and New Zealand (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Aid Programme).

The initial pilot program will receive AUD$7 million. P.I.F.R. will initially operate as a pilot for two years. It will be fully funded by donors with the project progressing to year three, subject to the generation of additional revenue, and early indications of possible impact if taken to scale.

The partners include Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, United Nations Development Programme, The United Nations Children's Fund, Pacific Community, University of the South Pacific, and Moffat Commercial Catering and Bakery Equipment.

P.I.F.R. is managed by Aecom Services Pty Ltd (Adelaide office) through the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded Innovation Resource Facility.

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