Knowing the right kind of products that best suit the market is important.
Family owned company, Nora’s Plantation, knows the importance of ensuring any line of products they produce is in line with the market demand.
Co-founder and Executive Director Marketing and Product Development, Mona Lisa Karene, said they are currently working on testing how effective taro crisps would be in the international markets.
“The taro crisp is another project and it is the first of its kind for us. At the moment we are doing a product market test in Australia with the award we were given.
“So all of those preparations will be done in Australia because there’s no equipment here to do it, but we have to do a product market test first in Brisbane,” Mrs. Karene said.
These product market tests, she shared,are made possible with a recent A$100,000 (T$193,000) awarded to Nora’s Plantation by the Australian Government under the Frontier Innovators programme.
“The challenge is there are not enough resources for marketing, which makes it difficult to advertise because if you don’t have that then you can’t really get your message across. It’s also good because it forces us to make things with what we have,” she shared of the obstacles associated with effectively marketing a particular product.
“We have tough competition in the overseas markets. It’s important that we achieve a lot of orders from the markets; otherwise we wouldn’t buy from the farmers,” Mrs. Karene added.
“But we do not compete with the local market.”
Nora’s Plantation is well known for its cocoa paste export among small scale cocoa farmers on both Upolu and Savaii.
“We help the farmers, particularly cocoa farmers, to export their cocoa paste overseas. We have our marketing office in Australia to help us interact with our clients.
“At the moment we are not doing cocoa paste, but instead we are doing cocoa nibs.”
“Our online stores are for individual consumers. Before we received the award, we were sending a lot of paste to Europe, Canada and the United States and within Australia.”
Mrs. Karene mentioned they are more focused on their existing markets.
“We are focusing on ones that we have already because there are big markets in each of those countries. I feel like we haven’t even nearly scratched the surface.
“I prefer to just focus on Australia and Japan at the moment. We are doing some work to get into Korea. Apart from that we are not looking at anything wholesale wise.”
“The demand from the wholesale side because of the cyclone, we had some hiccups with the supply. However, we can meet the demand and we are building up to it.”
Nora’s Plantation, being named after her grandmother, exists to help alleviate poverty among farmers in Samoa and the social impact assessment they carried out highlighted the effectiveness of their mission and vision among the farmers.
Mrs. Karene commended the Government for their contribution to the agriculture sector in Samoa.