Fiji Time: 6:29 PM on Friday 23 February

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Global award

Manasa Kalouniviti
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

JODI Smith, the chief executive officer of Ranadi Plantation Partnership says she and her team at Ranadi were thrilled when they heard they had won the Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Award for 2016.

Ms Smith made the comment after her Deuba-based farming business, along with three other farms, were awarded the prestigious award for 2016.

She said they applied for certification because it was a requirement of one of their buyers.

"We had our first audit and it revealed we were only 40 per cent compliant. It took us three months of intensive work to get the farm up to standard, but once we had achieved full compliance we realised the importance of the GAP certification — that it requires you to be the very best you can be," Ms Smith said.

"We are now the only Global GAP certified farm in Fiji," she said to The Fiji Times.

Fiji's first and only Global GAP certified farm, Ranadi Plantation Partnership, has been exporting organic ginger to New Zealand. They have also regularly helped other farmers, training them in recycling, tropical polyculture farming and sustainable soil management.

She said GAP certification was required by most major supermarkets around the world, which was why they had the certification.

"We are one of several organically certified ginger farms in Fiji. We are certified Australian Certified Organic (ACO), US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA NOP), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and JAS (Japan Agricultural Standard)," she said.

The Fiji Times also posed to Ms Smith the question of how she was going to spread the GAP message across the country.

She said they were working with a group of farmers in a remote part of Vanua Levu, and were aiming for this organic co-operative to become Fiji-wide.

"We are members of the newly formed Fiji Organic Producers' Association. We formed this group with some smallholder farmers in Wainunu, Vanua Levu, in order to achieve Fairtrade certification and to supply an increasing market demand. The training for all members of the association includes organics, sustainability, soil fertility and good agricultural practices."

Last Friday Ms Smith was on her way to attend the Global GAP Summit which will be officially opened by Dutch Royal family member, Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, in Amsterdam today.

She will also receive the Global GAP Award for 2016 during the event.

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