Women in Business Development Incorporated

Sustainable incomes for Samoan families

Women In Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI) works with rural and vulnerable families throughout Samoa to produce a variety of organic foods and crafts. It’s products, which include virgin coconut oil, cocoa, coffee, honey, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices – are thriving both locally and overseas, particularly in New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

The Apia-based not-for-profit organisation, was founded in 1990 to help Samoan women thrive in the commercial sphere. When two devastating cyclones hit in the early 1990s the organisation decided to broaden its focus to help rural and vulnerable families use their skills to generate sustainable incomes.

A key focus for the organisation, funded by NZAid, Oxfam New Zealand and the Tindall Foundation, is helping farmers meet the growing worldwide demand for certified organic and fair-trade products. The team currently works with around 1,150 families in 200 villages, providing them with on-going training, support and access to export markets.

The organisation scored a major coup in 2007 when it landed a contract with multinational cosmetic giant The Body Shop to supply virgin coconut oil for a new product range. More than 200 certified organic farmers and their extended families are now involved with the project.

WIBDI executive director Adimaimalaga Tafunia believes the organisation’s success stems from the fact its programmes are designed to accord with traditional Samoan lifestyles and values.

“There is a strong family culture in Samoa which is why we focus on families. This has a flow-on effect to local communities. I enjoy working with the families and knowing that, in some small way, I am making a real difference,” she says.

The WIBDI team also carries out regular checks to ensure quality standards are maintained as well as a comprehensive annual audit of its organic farmers’ practices and premises.

Eager to showcase its organic products to as many people as possible, the organisation is working with the Samoa Tourism Authority and New Zealand-born chef Robert Oliver, author of internationally award-winning cookbook Me’a Kai, to launch a ground-breaking organic tourism project.

 “The challenge is now to produce larger quantities while maintaining the same strict quality standards. We also plan to work with other like-minded organisations in the Pacific region to share markets we can’t fill ourselves,” Adimaimalaga says.

Profile DetailsOpen

Chief Executives / Directors:

Adimaimalaga Tafuna'i

Contact Email Address:
adi@womeninbusiness.ws

Physical Address:
2nd Floor, Nia Mall, Fugalei, Apia, Samoa

Postal Address:
PO Box 6591
Apia
SAMOA

Phone:
Ph: +685 21959
Fax: +685 25246

Distributors / StockistsOpen

All Good Organics (Bananas),
New Zealand

Website: http://www.womeninbusiness.ws/

Products

WIBDI Coconut Oil
WIBDI Coconut Oil
By Women in Business Development Incorporated
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