CALL FOR APPLICATIONS (Open Tender)
SCOPING STUDY ON DEVELOPING A KAVA-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL/ NUTRACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IN THE PACIFIC
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a traditional Pacific Islands plant whose active ingredient (kavalactone) in the roots produces relaxation and sedative effects. In the socio-cultural context, it is consumed as a traditional beverage mixed with water. Kava has also been successfully commercialised as a pharmaceutical or supplement preparation. Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and Samoa are the leading exporters of kava to the region (Kiribati, New Caledonia) and overseas markets (mainly the USA and New Zealand), followed by the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Kava contributes a significant share of total export value in Vanuatu (49% or €21M) and Tonga (28% €4M), and to a lesser extent in Fiji (1.5% or €21M), FSM (1.4% or €612K) and Samoa (0.2% or €65K)3.
During the late 1990s, strong demand for pharmaceutical/supplement use in Europe created a “kava boom” with higher levels of export sales than current trends. The crop became a promising export earner for small-scale farmers in the Pacific. However, the boom ended following claims of liver damage in the EU (Germany) due to kava toxicity. This prompted international concern about the safety of kava products, and in 2002, Germany banned kava and its products, followed by other EU member states (Austria, Belgium, and France). The Pacific States disputed the results of the reports and alleged that the export ban has led to severe losses in export earnings.
A recent Fiji kava value chain study4 quotes that exports to the EU have yet to resume to any significant level comparable to the 1990s. According to Eurostat data, in 2021, kava represented Vanuatu’s 3rd largest export to the EU with a value of EUR 227K (Spain, Poland, France), Fiji’s 23rd largest export with a value of EUR 32K (Hungary, Poland, Germany), Tonga’s 13th largest export with a value EUR 2K (Poland). Kava is listed as a priority product for export from the Pacific States to the EU, for which the EU has agreed to cooperate to facilitate and increase trade by identifying, preventing, and eliminating obstacles to trade arising from TBT and SPS measures under Article 34 and Annex III A of the Interim EPA (IEPA).
The overall objective of the consultancy is to undertake a comprehensive scoping study on the feasibility of moving the manufacturing base of a regional kava-based pharmaceutical/nutraceutical industry from Europe to the Pacific to incentivise increased sustainable kava production for export under the EU Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement. The expected advantages include utilizing the cumulation provisions under the IEPA to create new and higher sources of income for economic operators across the value and supply chains, and improving rural livelihoods for micro, meso, and macro-scale kava farmers, leading to an increase in Pacific exports to the largely untapped EU market
Scope of Work
The following areas comprise the key areas to be covered by the scoping study:
- SWOT analysis of moving the pharmaceutical/nutraceutical manufacturing base from the EU to the Pacific as in 2.2 (i).
- From (a), the mapping of a sustainable and scalable digitized kava value chain that promotes traceability and enhanced quality control across the following: farmer, farm, farmer aggregates/clusters, Pacific-based manufacturing plant(s), other national and international supply chain stakeholders to the EU market.
- How the data collated from (b) can mitigate one of the biggest challenges faced by farmers in developing countries – minimizing the business risks for commercial banks and other financial institutions to provide business loans due to the predictability of fund flows to and from the farmers through the digitization of the value and supply chains.
- Comprehensive Final Report.
The consultant should possess the following qualifications and experience:
- Master or Postgraduate degree in engineering, technology, or agriculture
- Additional MBA degree is preferred
- Project Management experience
- Expertise in Requirement analysis, WBS, cost estimations
- Excellent communication, analytical, and report-writing skills
- Experience with context specific to small farmer-oriented solutions development for Agriculture and Allied industries
- Expertise in local contextual analysis, especially in emphasizing food safety and quality aspects
- Experience in market research and SWOT analysis
- Excellent time management and multi-tasking across multiple assignments
Specific professional experience
- Minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience in agriculture/food value chains involving smallholder farmers in developing economies
- Minimum of 5 years of experience in digitizing agriculture/food value chains.
HOW TO APPLY
Deadline for Submissions: 4pm Monday 7 August 2023
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In the event that further information is required by the Secretariat in relation to the tender for consultancy, the Secretariat reserves the right to seek the required information without the need for calling for resubmission of proposals.