The grumbling of the Monoï de Tahiti association

The Monoï de Tahiti association spoke yesterday morning to express its dissatisfaction with the abolition of the mono’i tax. (© VP-G.)

Representatives of the Monoï de Tahiti industry, designation of origin, are angry! And for good reason, a few days before the new year, they learned, with amazement, that the Polynesian assembly had voted in favor of the repeal of the tax reserved for export on monoi. This decision, deemed inappropriate by professionals in the field, would be harmful to the entire sector, since it would completely call into question the organization of the latter.

In an open letter, addressed to the government, the five member companies of the Monoï de Tahiti association denounce “the amateurism of the government”. According to them, they were not consulted and it is this lack of consideration that they point the finger at. “We deplore the lack of consultation or even, on this particular one, the presentation that was made to the assembly and which was totally lacking in sincerity,” laments Olivier Touboul, from the South Pacific cosmetology laboratory.

Funded by consumers of Tahiti monoi abroad, this tax, which amounts to 150 francs per kilo, was introduced in 1992. Since then, it has enabled the industry to be self-sufficient and to grow. ensure its sustainability. Until then, it was the only means of financing the sector to protect its appellation of origin and its brands. Collected by customs, this tax was returned to the public treasury before being redistributed to the association in the form of a subsidy by the country. Each year, 350 to 450 tonnes of monoi are produced.

30 years of the designation of origin

The majority of the production being exported, it would represent around 40 million Pacific francs. An important financial windfall that monoi professionals and their 200 or so employees cannot afford to lose. “It’s this financial support that keeps us here. After two difficult years with the Covid, during which our individual economies, within our companies, were affected, we do not need to question and destabilize the export sector. », Gets angry Daniel Langy from Tiki perfumery.

In the country’s initial bill, which focused on the simplification and performance of the tax system, “consultation with professionals over the period 2023-2024” was planned. Finally, it was on December 23, when the issue of social VAT was discussed, that the government voted, as a matter of urgency, to abolish the monoi tax.

For the sector, this is news that is struggling to pass on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the label Appellation d’Origine Monoï de Tahiti. To manage to keep their heads above water, the five member companies of the association have therefore set up a voluntary contribution of the same financial order as the abolished tax. The goal is not to destabilize the life of the association and the program which is linked to the promotion of the product.

This afternoon, a meeting is scheduled between representatives of the association and the ministry in charge of the economy.

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