Stakeholders from the coconut, cocoa and sandalwood sectors participated in a National Stakeholder Workshop on Wednesday 15th February 2017 in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The workshop was jointly sponsored by the Department of Industry and UNCTAD. Workshop discussions took stock of progress made to advance the development of these sectors and officially launch two UNCTAD projects to construct a Market Information Service (MIS) and assist producers to achieve certification with Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS).
The workshop opened with a review of UNCTAD’s “National Green Export Review” (NGER) project, which took place from 2014-2015, and concluded with stakeholders elaboration of a national action plan aimed at enhancing production capacity and boosting exports in the coconut, cocoa and sandalwood sectors. At the meeting stakeholders reported progress on several actions, and stressed the need for quick delivery on the MIS and VSS components; key elements of the national action plan. Stakeholders recognized that an MIS was urgently needed to improve efficiency and output levels in these sectors by linking producers, processors and exporters to each other and to timely and accurate data on production levels, prices, quality and sales volumes in these sectors. They also acknowledged that in order to access foreign markets, meeting private standards and acquiring certification has become a prerequisite. UNCTAD announced that following completion of the NGER, two new UNCTAD projects supported by the UN Development Account would now be implemented to respond to these two areas of the NGER’s national action plan. UNCTAD’s MIS and VSS projects ̶ both launched during this workshop and continuing through to 2019 ̶ would begin national activities promptly through awareness raising, research, capacity building and training exercises.
Through the NGER, MIS and VSS projects UNCTAD and Vanuatu continue to work as close partners, particularly in the coconut and cocoa sectors which have many value added products and substantial market potential in both regional and global markets.
For further information on the workshop, please see the Vanuatu Daily Post news article (found here).
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Trade and Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development