Kava exporter produces evidence to counter tampering accusations


Peter Colmar, owner of Santo kava export business Sarami Plantation has responded to criticism of what were labelled as his “tainted” kava exports a week ago. The allegations of impurities in Sarami shipments were made by European kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt in Germany and Vanuatu’s European Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy in Belgium. Colmar has angrily rejected the accusations of a week ago as “lies”, Daily Post reported on the weekend, and he produced gas chromatography data showing that his exported kava was a derived from a noble variety and contained only roots. There was some sympathy shown for Sarami and the Colmar position by the Agriculture Minister when contacted by Daily Post. He felt a cancellation of the exporter’s licence was not appropriate if the kava exported was of good quality. However, he said his Ministry will be “getting hard on those exporters who intentionally export low quality kava once a Kava Act amendment is gazetted next week”. Vanuatu has particular responsibilities internationally regarding the trade in kava as it chairs the FAO and WHO’s Codex Alimentarius research into kava quality and safety.

The Public Service Commission continues to try to save Government money through better management of the official vehicle fleet. PSC Chairman Martin Mahe says five respected and experienced public servants are being made key stakeholders for managing the official cars. (Daily Post)

An automatic weather station is to be installed above Longana airport, Ambae. It will be capable of giving weather updates every two minutes. Tsunami information will be instantly available and a team from New Zealand is coming to install the equipment. (Radio Vanuatu)

There are now 128 confirmed cases of dengue. Twelve people have been hospitalised. (Daily Post)