Samoa Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff

SEASONAL WORKERS MEET WITH PM

Apia, SAMOA — “We take zero tolerance against those who break agreements,” was the message from Principal Officer of Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE), Fitu Fuimaono during a meeting between the RSE and the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi regarding the upcoming RSE forum in Samoa. 

The SRE allows for eligible Pacific workers to undertake seasonal work (in planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops) for an approved employer in the horticulture and viticulture industries in New Zealand and in Australia. According to the SRE website, workers can stay in New Zealand for up to seven months in any 11 month period, however, actual times may vary depending on the Employer.

“The RSE policy was developed to give the industry a more reliable source of workers from year to year. New Zealand Employers must go through an accreditation process to achieve Recognized Seasonal Employer status; and they need to demonstrate a commitment to recruiting and training New Zealanders before looking for workers from overseas,” the website says.

Last week Prime Minister Tuilaepa noted the importance of sharing experiences in capacity building and development of the scheme and said the three-day forum helps create ways of strengthening on collective efforts in order to pursue the possibilities of long-term employment opportunities in our traditional labor work.

He said the forum also focuses on sharing of countries’ perspective on the national level capabilities, challenges and constraints. Fuimaono pointed out there is a huge support from the communities and families for Samoans to find seasonal work under RSE in New Zealand and also for the Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) in Australia. He also noted the protection and support of the workers under both schemes is a priority.

According to Fuimaono, workers need support especially in communication and filling documents. One issue he emphasized was the government’s zero tolerance for any misbehavior by workers. He was quick to point out the recent move by the government in imposing a two- to four-year penalty on any worker who breaks an employment agreement or breaks the law while working under the schemes overseas.

WILEX SAMOA, LAUNCHES THEIR VERY OWN CHOCOLATE

Apia, SAMOA — Wilex Samoa, a 100% locally owned family business in Samoa has officially launched its first line of exquisite chocolate and cocoa products. Located in Lelata, Samoa Koko Loa is a new boutique cocoa brand that proudly celebrates its Samoan origins.

The Koko Loa range is from carefully premium cocoa beans, infused with the tropical flavors that Samoa is world famous for, and will compete on a global stage, appearing shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s best chocolate and cocoa brands.

The Koko Loa consists of 72% local ingredients — Fruit and Nut; and Coconut Milk Chocolate — and cocoa Powders and they have been developing this project for the last several years.

According to a statement issued by Willex Samoa in early 2015 to help develop the brand, Wilex turned to, and won a “Business Accelerator Award” under the Pacific Cooperation Foundation of New Zealand, which funded part of the design and branding concept for KOKO LOA.

“The project itself is a long term dream of the founders to maximize the benefits of one of the world’s best flavor beans for Samoa and to better the lives of local farmers by offering them a sustainable market.

Wilex started making Award Winning Chocolates at its four times Exporter of the Year factory in Moata’a until its demise in 2003 when the factory was burnt to the ground by an electrical fire. 13 years later the dream is revived.”

DIGICEL CELEBRATES 10 YEARS IN SAMOA

Apia, SAMOA — As Digicel celebrates ten years of establishment in Samoa, they launch the first phase of its #getgifted Christmas campaign and with great deals on Huawei mobile phones, text and call bundles, Digicel will also be giving away $30,000 worth of cash prizes.

As a way of thanking their customers, staff and partners for their loyalty and ongoing support, CEO of Digicel Samoa, Rory Condon says their Christmas campaign is all about giving back and” we’re excited to be partnering with Huawei to offer such great deals. We want to make the festive season that little bit merrier and our handset & promotional offers are the ideal gift for family, friends or even for yourself.”

Digicel is also offering its customers a chance to win $30,000 worth of cash prizes. Every week for the next six weeks, five lucky Digicel customers will win $1,000 each. “Our #getgifted campaign is one of many ways in which we want to show our appreciation to customers, staff and partners.”

MANU SAMOA SELECTS THEIR SEVEN’S TEAM FOR OCEANIA

Apia, SAMOA — The Manu Samoa 7’s team has selected a squad for the upcoming Oceania Sevens Tournament 2016 – on the 11th-12th of November in Suva, Fiji.

Coach Stephen Betham said, they chose a mixture of experience and new exciting players to the side. “Like most of the other teams, we have been preparing for this tournament for the last eight weeks. The boys have worked incredibly hard to get themselves into the best possible shape for this tournament and I commend them for this.”

The side includes veteran players such as Tila Mealoi, Samoa Toloa and Siaosi Asofolau. Betham said, “This tournament will kick start the new season and players will be fighting for positions with the upcoming HSBC Sevens World Series. We are excited about the prospect of unveiling new talent and the Oceania Sevens will provide the opportunity for the squad to perform to earn selection into our final squad for the World Series.”

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