From the 2016 Kava Awards:
Welcome to the 2016 Kava Awards. I’m your host, the Kavasseur. What a year for Kava! Not only did we see some of the best Kava ever slide through our doors’ mail slots, but we also neve…
When putting together this list, I wanted to be as unbiased as possible and keep the categories to a minimum. In a year, what qualities can we identify among vendors and their Kava? I thought it would be important to look for an outstanding individual who embodies good business ethics and sells high quality Kavas – the Vendor of the Year. Who was the best new arrival on the Kava scene over the past 12 months – the Best New Vendor. Who continued to push Kava forward with new ideas and technologies – the Most Innovative. Which small Kava vendor brought the local flavors of the South Pacific to us so successfully that you could almost taste the soil of their Kava gardens in each shell of Kava – the Best Artisanal Vendor. Which vendor keeps their fans on the edge of their seats waiting for fresh, tasty new Kavas and maintains their fan base – the Sheller’s Choice. And, of course, the Kava of the Year category speaks for itself. There are so many great vendors out there now, but I thought these were really the ones who stood out in 2016.
With no further ado, I’d like to raise some shells and distribute awards to various players in the Kava world.
Vendor of the Year – Kalm with Kava
I want to raise a special shell to 2016’s “Vendor of the Year.” Kalm with Kava exemplifies excellent business ethics and community-based economic development through sustainable agriculture. What truly impresses me about Kalm with Kava is their emphasis on the farmers and communities who grow Kava in the Pacific Islands. Their focus on creating a better life for Kava-producing communities by going to their homes, walking with them through their farms, and sourcing the freshest, most cared-for, and best value Kava on the market is what earns them the title of “Vendor of the Year.” They are doing what I believe every responsible company should do in a market that works with natural resources and agricultural products. Namely, they bypass the middleman distributors and buy directly from farmers. Their approach might be more difficult and expensive, but it means that when you purchase a bag of their Kava your money is going directly to the households who produced it. Essentially, it means that when you drink a shell of Vula Waka you are not only benefitting yourself, but you are benefitting a household in Fiji. What more could you ask for?
Excellent work, Mike Munsell and everyone at Kalm with Kava!