Interview - Thomas Monvoisin - Teouma Group
Vanuatu’s clean, pristine environment are ideal for growing food products. We spoke with Thomas Monvoisin, General Manager of Teouma Group about their coconut oil, beef and prawns and about the quality consumers can expect.
FFW: What is Teouma Group?
TEOUMA GROUP: We are based in Vanuatu, an archipelago between Fiji and Australia. We’ve been in operation since 1986, and today we employ 400 people in six industries. We export organic certified coconut oil, organically grown prawns and Grade A beef.
FFW: Are your products certified organic?
TEOUMA GROUP: We decided to certify not only the premium RBD coconut oil, but the two mills and the 500 growers as well. Our beef is organic and prawns are organically grown, but with no certification so far.
FFW: What’s special about the beef in Vanuatu?
TEOUMA GROUP: The beef industry in Vanuatu has no disease. Our beef is grass-fed, and we never use any antibiotics or hormones. The plant was originally built in 1972 and since that time has been upgraded every year. We can export to many countries, including Australia.
FFW: How about your prawns? What quality virtues do you offer?
TEOUMA GROUP: Once again, we use no antibiotics nor chemicals. We supply fresh or frozen, with or without shell. We offer regular (30g) or large size (40g). Local chefs only use those top quality prawns. Chefs from overseas gave excellent feedback as well.
FFW: What makes Vanuatu coconut oil so special?
TEOUMA GROUP: The environment is extremely pure, free from any forms of fertilisers, pesticides and chemicals. We work closely with 500 organic certified growers on remote islands (Epi and Ambrym). Those partners have historically strong know-how that ensures top quality raw material. Our RBD oil is produced in modern, state-of-the-art mills. The quality is consistent, with only a tiny smell and taste. Contrary to virgin oil, there is no smoke when you cook with it.
FFW: Who would be a typical Teouma Group consumer?
TEOUMA GROUP: Typical clients are retailers, who buy our branded products, our label. We also supply oil and prawns in bulk (private label). Our 5L sachet (organic cooking coconut oil) is used by restaurants.
FFW: Do you have any new products coming into the range?
TEOUMA GROUP: In 2018, we developed a new premium organic certified coconut oil, packaged in a beautiful glass jar (460ml). In 2019 we are launching a 100ml cosmetics glass jar.