Solomon Gold Kava sales between 2010 and 2011 have been really fast. With many kava brands entering the market, the Solomon Gold Kava sales has slowed down. This slow down in sales resulted from the shortage of the supply of Kava from the Solomon Islands in September and October 2011. The other biggest challenge to Kava from Solomon Islands is transport. The suspension of “Our Airline” serving Honiara and Kiribati has affected the supply of Kava in Kiribati and as a result the taste started to also change. Betty Trading is however very determined to find other means of getting the Solomon Kava to Tarawa. Following the suspension of the air service “Our Airline” between Honiara and Kiribati, sea transport was then used and the Solomon Kava is loaded in a container mixed with other goods. So the problem with the air service has opened up other new opportunities for Betty Trading to import other products from the Solomon Islands.

While Kava stock is now building up again in Honiara, another challenge has cropped up with the shipping services directly serving Honiara and Tarawa – Scarlet Lucy – being ended. And so we will now look for other alternative routes which for sure will become more expensive. But through all these difficulties, we are gaining more insights into the real issues underlying small business developments in the Pacific and more so to smaller island states such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau and Marshall Islands.

The announcement of the new shipping route that is now sailing between the smaller countries – MANA – is indeed a welcome news and service to us. The shipping line is running a monthly service between the islands and this is helping us to recapture back our market in the Kava business. During 2012, we suffered from the shipping routes but sine early 2013, we are now able to ship our Kava (LCL) from the Solomon Islands and it takes only one ship the MANA to transport it all the way to Tarawa rather than having to trans-ship it in several boats. Since May 2013, the sales of Solomon Gold Kava has improved and we now have new customers coming to us while some of our very old customers are returning. The tide for our kava product is slowly but steadily coming up and this is due to the new shipping line. Also our kava powder are not kept for months in the container where the quality deteriorates over time Betty Trading will endeavor to supply new powder rather than stale kava powder.

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We will also launch our new kava product branded as “TE NANA TEUANA” and this will cater for the middle class kava drinkers. The new kava product purely from Solomon Islands will target households customers who may want to enjoy their kava with their families and friends in their quite homes. The new kava product, TE NANA TEUANA” reflects a close family ties and close friendship of sharing one bowl of kava shell depicting close family ties and friendship. The price will also be cheaper and so will become even affordable to low income earners who are addicted to drinking very high quality kava.

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