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Irregular milk supply

Atasa Moceituba, Ropate Valemei And Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

MAJOR supermarkets in the Central and Western divisions have confirmed an irregular supply of Rewa Life liquid milk as consumer demand for the product increases.

During a series of surveys by this newspaper of supermarkets and retail outlets yesterday, management of a few supermarket chains confirmed the irregular supply and complaints from consumers of the lack of supply.

RB Patel Group Limited Nadi branch frontline supervisor Litia Adirateri said the irregular supply of liquid milk had been an issue for the past two weeks.

"Consumers have been complaining since most of them love and prefer the Fijian-made product. A lot of people say powdered milk is very expensive, others prefer Rewa Life because the overseas brands are quite expensive," Ms Adirateri said.

Food 4 Less Suva branch manager Ajay Narayan said Rewa Life liquid milk was the only product was out of stock.

He said they improvised with sales to convince customers to buy other products.

MH supermarkets in Suva also lacked supply of Rewa Life liquid milk but this was refuted by Carpenters Fiji Limited retail and marketing director Kuna Sabaratnam, who said they had made arrangements with the supplier.

Dairy farmer Hirday Lakhan said it was normal for supply to decrease about this time of the year. He said the issue could be solved through dialogue between farmers and stakeholders.

"Incentives have been used by many and it works. I believe if the right price is given to the farmers, then we won't be talking about the subject of low supply," Mr Lakhan said.

Tailevu dairy farmer Filimoni Naicavu said they were aware of the low supply and this could be attributed to the cold spell. Another dairy farmer Andrew Compain said the issues they faced was land and grass to feed the cows.

"More land, more grass and cows will produce more milk," Mr Compain said. He said New Zealand was a cold country but produced more milk because of its large land mass for cows to graze.

Questions sent to Fiji Dairy Limited remain unanswered when this edition went to press.

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