Reddy reminds exporters to uphold standards

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr. Mahendra Reddy officiates the commissioning of Kumar's Exports facility in Bilalevu, Valley Road, Sigatoka on the weekend. Picture: MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways, and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy says it is imperative for export businesses to ensure biosecurity compliance and standards are upheld.

He said it was abundantly clear that all bilateral quarantine agreements needed to be followed by players along the export value-chain locally so as not to compromise mutually agreed terms, adding that any form of adulteration could prove detrimental to the continued export of any one commodity.

“Fiji has a brand image, we should not mess around with the brand image; the moment we lose it, we lose the special feature of what makes Fijian produce so highly sought after,” he said.

Dr Reddy said exporters of fresh/chilled produce play this role, in particular, stating that attempts to make a profit must never be done through unethical practices that could jeopardise established export markets.

“It is important that all of us, from farmers to workers to labourers and exporters, take steps to protect our brand image and I ask all exporters to ensure that biosecurity requirements are fulfilled.

“Time and again, there will be that one exporter who chooses to take the easy way and does not meet the requirements of the export market and this has cost us dearly, we’ve lost export pathways, pathways being suspended for extended periods of time and we cannot afford to lose these export pathways, so it is critical that we adhere to all biosecurity requirements – there must not be any adulteration of any sort.”

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