THE opening of a fruit and vegetable processing plant is anticipated to bring in over $35 million in gross foreign exchange earnings annually once it reaches its full potential.
The processing plant will cater for the needs of the booming produce export market.
This was revealed by Bula Island Food Supplies Limited's managing director Narain Sammy Naidu at the opening of his $1.7 million complex in Nadi on Wednesday.
"The majority of this will filter down to ordinary farmers.
"The success of our business is very dependent on the close to 200 farmers that supply us with produce for export every week.
"Our farmers are from as close as Lautoka and Sigatoka and as far as Taveuni and Rakiraki," he said.
Mr Naidu added the complex would allow for business to expand and meet international requirements.
"The complex will also provide an opportunity for the company to boost its weekly output and source additional markets abroad.
"It will be fully equipped to meet the increasingly stringent quality and food safety requirements of destination countries we export to," he said.
Situated in Carreras near Votualevu, the 756 square metre premises is equipped with blast freezers and packaging equipment and a designated space for Biosecurity and Health Department officers.
The company processes paan leaves, taro leaves, cassava leaves, pumpkin, jackfruit and bora beans for export to Australia.