Report: Poor post-handling of local produce create barriers for resorts

The issue on the poor post-handling of fresh local produce is one of the reasons hotels and resorts import food from abroad. Picture: FT FILE

LACK of proper infrastructure and poor post-handling of fresh local produce is one of the reasons hotels and resorts import food from abroad.

This was part of the findings highlighted in the ‘From the Farm to the Tourist’s Table – A Study of Fresh Produce Demand From Fiji’s Hotels and Resorts’ report that was launched at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Tuesday.

“Although there have been improvements in this area during the past five years, most farmers and some suppliers do not have proper infrastructure and understanding of post-harvest handling techniques,” the report stated.

“This reduces the quality of local fresh produce during transportation to the supplier or hotel during storage periods. It also has serious implications for food safety and hygiene.”

The report also revealed that the quality of local meat and dairy products did not meet the standards of hotels or their guests.

“There have been issues in the past with the taste, texture and cuts of beef from local suppliers.”

The report stated that generally, local pork quality was good, although there were supply issues at times.

“For dairy products, hotels note that guests are particular about the quality of milk and have high standards for taste.”

Furthermore, the report states that poor dairy quality is compounded by an inconsistent or low supply of milk from dairy farmers and the need to often import powered milk and reconstitute it in Fiji.

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