Bula Island Food Supplies (BIFS) Limited is 100 per cent locally owned agribusiness involved in processing and exporting. BIFS was formed by Mr Narain Sammy Naidu in 1986 in Sydney, Australia. The company has since been importing fresh and processed fruits, vegetables, root crops and sea foods.
BIFS also has a sister company in Fiji under the same name. This is a locally registered company that employs local staff on permanent and casual basis and pays taxes in Fiji. The Fiji based company sources, negotiates, buys, grades, processes and sells the products to the Australian company. This is to ensure continuity and consistency in supply of goods.
BIFS also operates as a distribution centre in Sydney supplying to other Indian shops in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The company is buying produce from all over Fiji. But once the centre is set up, the Agriculture Department will program the crop planting and linking the farmers in the Ba province and the west to the centre as supply base farms so that the centre is able to meet its export demand.
A processing centre of this magnitude will provide direct employment opportunities to 113 as new staff and open up many new farms as supply base farms.
Currently there are 42 staff who are directly employed on full-time/part-time basis by the company. The current export volume is 457t and it is envisioned that export volume will triple after the completion of this project and the company will be able to venture into new products thus increasing the number of type of products exported.
Over the last few years BIFS has invested retained earnings in a program to increase processing capacity and to enhance product quality. The total value of investment by the company thus far has been approximately $F400,000. BIFS's projected cash flow is such that it is in a position to make increasing incremental capital investments. However, there are not sufficient retained earnings to make the large scale capital investment required for a rapid expansion in beyond its current level and into the future.