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Kava Europe - Introduction


EU Vendor
Kava Vendor
Dear fellow kava drinkers,

Thank you for creating this space for discussing kava. It's amazing to be able to have a platform for connecting with other people who drink and love kava (+ those who are lucky enough to live in a place where they can grow it!). We want to post this short note to introduce ourselves and let you know what we've been up to with promoting and selling kava in Europe (to be more precise: within the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland).

Until 2018 kava was strictly illegal in Poland. However, thanks to a group called "Kampania na Rzecz Relegalizacji Kavy w Polsce" it finally became legalised. Those activists managed to get a few members of parliament on board and after years of patient petitioning, submissions, appeals, parliamentary hearings and other things. Eventually the Polish Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (the equivalent of America's FDA) issued a positive report that was later accepted by the Ministry of Health and put forward as an amendement to the narcotics legislation. The parliament voted in favour of the amendement and kava was removed from the list of banned substances. Hooray! Unfortunately, this doesnt make it legal as "food", which means selling for human consumption or, for example, in a "kava bar" is still not legal. The only route to selling kava legally for human consumption is to file an application to register it temporarily (so to speak, it's complicated) as a dietary supplement (each product of each size and label has to be applied for separately). This is not ideal, but at least it's much better than the situation in the past and the situation in many other parts of the European Union where it cant even be given a temporary registeration as a supplement. Maybe the situation will change with the new codex, but I wouldn't hold my breath. On the positive side, the United Kingdom has finally left the European Union which means they cannot veto legalising kava as food in the EU (they were the strongest opponents of this). On the negative side, Germany is still sort of opposed to this (and obviously they aren't going anywhere). Time will tell.

In the meantime, we are happy to announce that we can legally sell kava for human consumption to our customers in Poland and others from the European Union/European Economic Area/Switzerland/UK who may be interested in trying it. We didn't want to reinvent the wheel or waste time building a totally new brand people could trust (especially when the kava situation in Europe is very uncertain), so instead we have established collaboration with The Kava Society (New Zealand) and we are their official distributors for the European market. At the moment we only stock their main blend, the Pacific Elixir, but have plans for adding more options in the future.

Unfortunately, the future remains uncertain, as we said, even with codex alimentarius decision. Even in Poland it's possible that our dietary supplement registration might be withdrawn at some point, which is why we try to tread carefully.

But we are working hard trying to make this situation more normal and sustainable. Our dream is to open a proper kava bar in Europe. We already run a small polynesian-themed bar/bistro, but because of the law cannot serve kava there. But if you want to buy bags of Pacific Elixir from our restaurant, you can. You can also prepara kava there yourself in one of our bowls and enjoy it with friends.

If you live in Poland, feel free to pick up the kava from our Chono Lulu bar in Warsaw, or order it online from our website https://kavaeurope.pl
If you happen to be elsewhere in the EU/EEA/Switzerland/UK areas, feel free to visit our European website https://kavaeurope.eu

Best regards,

Kava Europe team
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