New breadfruit shipments begin for overseas Samoans

The Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S.) has provided another Samoan product for export to add to the growing demand for local crops by overseas-based Samoans. 

Tuimaseve Kuinimeri Finau and her Food Science & Technology team at S.R.O.S. are collaborating with Su’a Traditional Growers & Farmers to export frozen umu baked ulu (breadfruit) to Australia as an additional new product via sea freight.

Owner of Su’a Traditional Growers & Farmers, Su’a Tanielu Su’a, will include in his shipment today the first shipment of frozen baked umu following preparations, packing and labelling since the fruiting season. 

“Fresh and even baked breadfruit through personal consignment from Samoa has been banned by New Zealand for more than five years,” said S.R.O.S in a statement. 

“The S.R.O.S. has been sending a few air freighted consignments of baked, frozen breadfruit as trials to test the pathway and to gauge feedback from the targeted market. 

“In May this year the S.R.O.S. collaborated with Event Polynesia Ltd (marketing) and Oasis Resources Ltd (importer) two companies based in Auckland New Zealand, allowing 243 packs of traditionally umu baked, frozen Maopo and Puou to be air freighted over.”

S.R.O.S. said the produce was distributed to more than 200 Samoans who gave positive feedback with many consumers wanting a regular supply of the product due to its taste and the convenience of it only needing microwave preparation.

The Food Science & Technology team in 2015 completed its technical research on frozen crops, which settled on an optimum process for producing three frozen breadfruit products- uncooked slices, breadfruit fries and baked ready to eat ‘ulu. 

The slices of uncooked breadfruit has since been exported by exporters along with taro, banana, yams and a variety of other crops after successful trials of frozen crops from Samoa to Australia by Tradition Farmers & Growers (Su’a), the S.R.O.S. and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. 

S.R.O.S., in their statement, said the exports of frozen crops continue to grow as a means of overcoming the stringent biosecurity measures imposed by Australia and New Zealand on fresh produce. 

“It is anticipated that through these small trials the exporters of frozen crops will see the opportunity in adding frozen, umu baked ‘ulu to their line of products. 

“It is also hoped that the frozen pathway will be taken as the alternative for sending personal consignments of baked ulu to New Zealand and Australia for our families and friends to enjoy.”

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