We were met by the Managing Director Terry and he briefed the team about the history of the factory and his involvement in the business. After the introduction, the most senior gentlemen from Tanna, who owns one of the plantation that supplies coffee, took the group to a plot and demonstrated processes for planting and maintaining healthy trees in time for production. The tour then ended with my favorite and most anticipated session, apart from snapping away fine shots for the office gallery, and that was sampling of a variety of coffees served to guests at the factory, aah.. simply divine! After the delicious moccacino (pictured), my mind raced back down to earth just in time for an exchange of thanks and farewells before heading off to another beauty, The Secret Gardens. Upon arrival, we noticed the lush property showcasing Vanuatu culture, flora and fauna, had undergone some changes onsite. Our tour guide, Steve, welcomed us with big smiles and he looked colorful with his Tanna grass-skirt and red hibiscus flower tucked behind his ears. The tour around the gardens was very informative and the staff enjoyed browsing the newly built Secret Gardens Cafeteria as well as listen to the new audio info machine which can tell up to 7 different stories on historical events and legends. The staff was impressed with the 9 new jungle bungalows that have had their bases built and are currently waiting for the walls and interior furnishings to arrive. After a group photo with Jenny Neil-Jones, Secret Garden's Managing Director, and the bubbly Steve, it was time to head back to the office. The VTO would like to thank both Secret Gardens and Tanna Coffee Factory Management for letting the team visit and we look forward to working closely together in promoting your products and Vanuatu abroad.
|Photo above: Jenny and Steve (center), surrounded by VTO staff.|