23 August, 2014, 12:00 am
FIJI’S economic future lies in the creation of global markets for organic, sustainable high-quality agricultural exports.
And according to successful businessman and founder of FIJI Water, Wakaya Perfection and Wakaya Island, David Gilmour, Fiji had a reputation as a trusted source of organic products.
Mr Gilmour said sustainable high-quality agricultural exports were dependent on the assurance that the quality, efficacy and potency of the product was without doubt and without bad actors.
He said meant all products destined for the global marketplace, especially the US market, must be certified by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US National Organic Program (NOP) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before leaving Fiji’s shores.
“One product or labelling mistake and the entire organic industry in Fiji is jeopardised and could collapse,” he said.
“Global consumers have become savvier and more focused on purity, provenance and proven performance.”
He said Fiji had the opportunity to become a global leader.
“Fiji gets one bite of the apple and one rotten apple can ruin it for us all.”
He said export approval was essential.
“If it does not have the three approvals (USDA, NOP and FDA), it’s a waste of time for the exporters and the consequences are such that it can ruin the whole market.”