Fiji agri enterprise exports major shipment to US


A Nadi, Fiji based enterprise in the agribusiness sector has shipped its first consignment of fresh produce to the demanding United States market, according to a Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) media release. <!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_5909" align="alignleft" width="392"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-5909" alt="Courtesy – SPC media release" src="" width="392" height="249" /></a> Courtesy – SPC media release[/caption]

The 13-tonne shipment of frozen fruit, vegetable, root crop and fish will likely be followed by five more consignments by the end of this year.

Bula Island Food Supplies, which began operation in 1986, has until recently been exporting local fruits, vegetables and root crops only to Australia. Since 2012, however, the company has been receiving assistance from the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project, which has enabled it to expand its export operation. Entering into the USA market has been described as a major milestone for Bula Island Food Supplies.

This project is part of a European Union (EU)-funded initiative implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). A total of 42 Pacific enterprises are supported by the project, which is aimed at strengthening the export capacity of Pacific countries in the agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock sectors. <b>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I)</b> offices have been involved in the project since inception.

Assistance provided by the EU through the IACT project included help toward acquiring Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, marketing, strategic and inclusive business planning, machinery and equipment, as well as technical production support. This assistance has helped boost the company’s annual export volume from 457 tonnes to around 720 tonnes within two years.

The additional foreign exchange earned by Bula Island Food Supplies from exporting overseas will be re-invested into the business to improve its packaging of frozen products. The company won the Medium Exporter of the Year award in 2012.