The OPT is pleased to present this hand-drawn 450 XPF stamp issue showing the Kô salt marshes at Poingam in the Far North of New Caledonia's Main Island. In 2010, Relais de Poingam guesthouse manager Jean Broudissou decided to re-establish New Caledonia’s ancient and long-abandoned salt industry.
At the northernmost tip of New Caledonia's untamed Far North, in a magnificent pollution-free environment, Jean Broudissou began harvesting sea salt as a hobby, to offer his guests. Then, determined to restore this local condiment to its past glory and overcome the challenges involved, he set off to explore world-famous salt marshes (at Guérande, on Reunion Island and on Mauritius), studied salt harvesting processes and decided to make his hobby a profession, working four hectares of salt marshes at Kô, with the agreement of the Arama Tribe.
Lagoon water flowing into the inner reaches of the mangroves is first trapped by dams and then pumped and fed into a succession of salt evaporation ponds through which the brine flows continuously until reaching saturation, when it is fed into the crystallizer pond where the salt is deposited and harvested.
The Kô salt marshes currently produce 22 tons of salt a year, marketed as "fleur de sel", coarse salt, grey salt and salts flavoured with kelp, herbs, Vanuatu pepper or pink peppercorn from Moindou. Delicious Kô salt is packaged in sachets, bags, salt grinders and flasks and sold at Poingam and at speciality shops in Noumea.