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Why so few companies that sells frozen kava?

Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
Why is it so?
I mean there is a possiblity for frozen shipping by sea or airfreight.
And you can reach quite few costumers worldwide within a 3-4 days.
With a courier company.
 

Alia

'Awa Grower/Collector
Why is it so?
I mean there is a possiblity for frozen shipping by sea or airfreight.
And you can reach quite few costumers worldwide within a 3-4 days.
With a courier company.
Ideally the farmer would need a large freezer to pre-freeze ground kava before shipping, < 0 F. ;
Containers and easy access to shipping facility;
Companies such as FedEx or UPS willing to pick up or close enough to drop off;
Maybe the most difficult is a change of mind-set as the farmer or wholesaler is historically
been selling dry...a big difference.
Moloka'i, Hawai'i --Pu'u O Hoku never had to change their mind-set, they always did fresh frozen because they had the infastructure
in place and the Consultant (!!??) who helped set them up in the mid - 1990's suggested fresh frozen in the beginning.
It helped that their 1st large customer-- Hale Noa 'Awa Bar wanted fresh.
 
Clearly it's possible to ship frozen kava within the USA, though I suspect it's a tricky business considering the perishable nature of the product, the high shipping costs, etc. I think a better question is why nobody has thought about freeze drying green kava or preserving the properties of fresh/green kava roots or juice in a better way.

As for supplying frozen to customers around the globe, there's simply no way anyone from hawaii could "reach quite few costumers worldwide within a 3-4 days." Even if one wanted to spend a fortune on the world's fastest courier service, they still wouldnt be able to control local customs and with fresh/frozen plant material delays and additional questions are pretty much *guaranteed*.
 

Hitch

Kava Curious
I’ve thought about this as well, @Michael Nielsen . There are long distance, frozen supply chains for plenty of goods (fruits, vegetables, etc.) — why can’t there be the same for kava?

And that brings me to @Henry ‘s point. Even if we could get fresh frozen kava... where is the innovation on the liquid front? I know Pacific RootsKava successfully bottled shelf stable kava juice from fresh root and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 

Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
Clearly it's possible to ship frozen kava within the USA, though I suspect it's a tricky business considering the perishable nature of the product, the high shipping costs, etc. I think a better question is why nobody has thought about freeze drying green kava or preserving the properties of fresh/green kava roots or juice in a better way.

As for supplying frozen to customers around the globe, there's simply no way anyone from hawaii could "reach quite few costumers worldwide within a 3-4 days." Even if one wanted to spend a fortune on the world's fastest courier service, they still wouldnt be able to control local customs and with fresh/frozen plant material delays and additional questions are pretty much *guaranteed*.
That freeze drying is a pretty advanced process i belive. While freezing is quite simple.
Regarding shipping times the courier companies claims that it take 3-4 days from usa to in my case sweden. I did order some coffe from molokai, it was sent on thursday, i had it next monday. If it had not hit saturday/sunday it would have taken 3-4 days. My kava shipment from Kwk or stackry do take 3 days.
Regarding how customs will deal with fresh/frozen plants i don't know since i havent tried. Its not a live plant so you dont need phytosanitary ceritficate.

I hope that i can visit hawaii next year, then i will try to make shipments of frozen kava from there.

But a buissness case, how would a kava wholeseller supply kava bars with frozen kava from vanuatu on a weekly base?
 
That freeze drying is a pretty advanced process i belive. While freezing is quite simple.
Regarding shipping times the courier companies claims that it take 3-4 days from usa to in my case sweden. I did order some coffe from molokai, it was sent on thursday, i had it next monday. If it had not hit saturday/sunday it would have taken 3-4 days. My kava shipment from Kwk or stackry do take 3 days.
Regarding how customs will deal with fresh/frozen plants i don't know since i havent tried. Its not a live plant so you dont need phytosanitary ceritficate.

I hope that i can visit hawaii next year, then i will try to make shipments of frozen kava from there.

But a buissness case, how would a kava wholeseller supply kava bars with frozen kava from vanuatu on a weekly base?
3 days from Hawaii to Sweden, door to door? I am pretty sure many mainland USA customers rarely receive their goods from Hawaii this fast, so this is truly astonishing. Unless you mean New York to Sweden, in which case it's more realistic, but in no way 100% guaranteed.
In any case such a courier service would cost a fortune. That's the main problem with shipping frozen kava. It's 80% water, so you basically pay to ship water around the world. Plus you need to pack it in insulated containers, perhaps with an ice pack etc.

Trust me, we ship kava around the world, and customs officials are often suspicious and hold packages for days or weeks. A package with some frozen raw plant material would most certainly attract a lot more attention than dry kava.

There's no way sourcing frozen kava from Vanuatu on a weekly basis could be economically viable for any kava bar. We are based in NZ. Vanuatu is a 2 hour flight away. And it still wouldn't make sense. For a start, you've got constant delays and flight cancellations (especially now), second, the cost of airfreight is astronimical right now, likely far in excess of the actual per kg cost of kava.
 
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nabanga

Kava Enthusiast
For Vanuatu, there is a parallel with the efforts over the last 30 years in trying to sell frozen fish caught in the outer islands to Port Vila, never mind overseas. Even with lots of assistance, there have been problems with paying for and maintaining freezers in the coastal salty environment. No mains electricity - so maintaining a generator and paying for fuel- and if a community effort rather than led by one businessman, problems with generator misuse and breakdown in maintenance fund collection.

If kava was able to be taken quickly to a central location, cleaned and frozen, then there would be further difficulties in keeping it frozen from leaving port on the growing island to Port Vila on a ship - taking several days between onloading/offloading. Airfreight in Vanuatu is very expensive.

I would guess that Fiji, Solomons, & Tonga would face similar problems. It could probably have a better chance of working somewhere like Samoa or Hawaii with their better infrastructure
 

kasa_balavu

Yaqona Dina
The way to do this properly requires massive up-front investment. You'd have to have good, cGMP and FDA certified processing facilities. You'd have to make an entire container load and ship it by sea to California.

You'd have to have a facility or partner in place in California to store and ship retail orders or wholesale to kava bars.

To ship retail orders of frozen kava from the Pacific Islands is a non-starter. The freight cost isn't worth it, as @Henry pointed out above. The exception is Hawaii (for US orders) because freight isn't all that expensive and shipping times are somewhat acceptable (outside of pandemic times).
 

Artofkava

Fiji Kava: Koro/Kadavu
Kava Vendor
Clearly it's possible to ship frozen kava within the USA, though I suspect it's a tricky business considering the perishable nature of the product, the high shipping costs, etc. I think a better question is why nobody has thought about freeze drying green kava or preserving the properties of fresh/green kava roots or juice in a better way.

As for supplying frozen to customers around the globe, there's simply no way anyone from hawaii could "reach quite few costumers worldwide within a 3-4 days." Even if one wanted to spend a fortune on the world's fastest courier service, they still wouldnt be able to control local customs and with fresh/frozen plant material delays and additional questions are pretty much *guaranteed*.
oh its been thought! the smaller freeze dryers i think are about 2 to 6k usd plus shipping to the island. Freight is pretty pricy. The output on those guys is small but would be so awesome. Tests would likely have to be done to see the viability of it too. Which can easily be done here in the states. That said, islanders are extremely against sending green plants to the states for fear kava growing would be stolen and done elsewhere and lower their prices. That's been a hard stance on anyone ive talked to on this subject. so that creates a barrier of entry beyond the cost of those smaller dryers. to ramp up production for a larger freeze dryer can be 20k+
 

Artofkava

Fiji Kava: Koro/Kadavu
Kava Vendor
oh its been thought! the smaller freeze dryers i think are about 2 to 6k usd plus shipping to the island. Freight is pretty pricy. The output on those guys is small but would be so awesome. Tests would likely have to be done to see the viability of it too. Which can easily be done here in the states. That said, islanders are extremely against sending green plants to the states for fear kava growing would be stolen and done elsewhere and lower their prices. That's been a hard stance on anyone ive talked to on this subject. so that creates a barrier of entry beyond the cost of those smaller dryers. to ramp up production for a larger freeze dryer can be 20k+
The costs for green kava are something like 4 to 6x less expensive too. Sea freight is about 1usd/kg. Chilled would be more expensive of course. The cost of freezers on both sides of the pond and cost of storage in that environment are the larger cost multipliers. you'd have to order quite a bit then have huge freezers (or a hockey rink haha) to store it all.
 

Artofkava

Fiji Kava: Koro/Kadavu
Kava Vendor
3 days from Hawaii to Sweden, door to door? I am pretty sure many mainland USA customers rarely receive their goods from Hawaii this fast, so this is truly astonishing. Unless you mean New York to Sweden, in which case it's more realistic, but in no way 100% guaranteed.
In any case such a courier service would cost a fortune. That's the main problem with shipping frozen kava. It's 80% water, so you basically pay to ship water around the world. Plus you need to pack it in insulated containers, perhaps with an ice pack etc.

Trust me, we ship kava around the world, and customs officials are often suspicious and hold packages for days or weeks. A package with some frozen raw plant material would most certainly attract a lot more attention than dry kava.

There's no way sourcing frozen kava from Vanuatu on a weekly basis could be economically viable for any kava bar. We are based in NZ. Vanuatu is a 2 hour flight away. And it still wouldn't make sense. For a start, you've got constant delays and flight cancellations (especially now), second, the cost of airfreight is astronimical right now, likely far in excess of the actual per kg cost of kava.
yah and i think air nz tends to be less expensive than dhl too for air ship.
 

Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
The costs for green kava are something like 4 to 6x less expensive too. Sea freight is about 1usd/kg. Chilled would be more expensive of course. The cost of freezers on both sides of the pond and cost of storage in that environment are the larger cost multipliers. you'd have to order quite a bit then have huge freezers (or a hockey rink haha) to store it all.
How big is the market for fresh frozen kava do you think?
 
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