Suva Fiji, August 21, 2018—An IFC-led
study, in partnership with the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the
Fiji Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MITT), shows hotels and resorts
in Fiji’s main tourism areas spent over FJ $74 million (US $36.4 million)
buying fresh produce in 2017, with 48 percent of that spent on locally
The study, From the Farm to the Tourist’s
Table, shows that while hotels have increased their use of local fresh
produce since 2011, when they purchased as much as 80% imported produce,
there is still room for improvement. Imported food items, such as vegetables,
fruits, meat, seafood, and dairy, are a significant cost driver for Fiji’s
hotels, accounting for FJ $38.5 million (US $18.8 million) each year. The
study also reveals that Fiji has the potential to cut FJ $24 million (US
$11.8 million) of its import bill by focusing its resources on growing
or producing certain fresh produce locally.
“Boosting the links between tourism and
agriculture is a key focus of Fiji’s tourism development plan or FT 2021,
whereby strengthening linkages and creating
synergies between the tourism and agriculture sectors are part of the main
strategies,” said Minister for Industry,
Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya. “The
Fijian Government has in place policies and programmes that encourage more
local production and consumption, in the tourism sector, as well as addressing
standards and capacity gaps. This study ties in nicely with the FT 2021
by highlighting ways to work with the hotel industry to achieve our goal
of increasing the value of tourism to the local economy. This is also in
line with our Fijian Made-Buy Fijian campaign, an initiative that encourages
consumption of local goods and services.”
The study identifies key barriers to increasing
local production, such as poor networking between hotel chefs, purchasing
managers, suppliers and farmers and outlines recommendations to increase
local food sourcing by Fiji’s tourism sector.
“Both the Fijian government and the private
sector have continued to make investments in order to increase production
of fresh produce in Fiji to meet hotel demand and this study will help
guide us in determining priorities for increased production,” said Mr.
Malakai Finau, Permanent Secretary for Lands & Mineral Resources, Acting
Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, and Acting Permanent Secretary for
Infrastructure & Transport.
“There is clearly potential for Fiji to
reduce its import bill for fresh produce for the hotel industry, delivering
more income for farmers,” said IFC’s Vice President for Asia and the
Pacific Nena Stoiljkovic, making her first visit to Fiji. “The way
is open for the private sector to boost production, drive demand for locally
grown produce, and ultimately create new markets for local products in
the tourism industry.”
Tourism – Fiji’s largest foreign exchange earner – generated an estimated
118,500 direct and indirect jobs in 2017. Fiji is now looking at ways to
boost the share of tourist spending that stays in the country.
“The study findings will provide a greater understanding of the barriers
to increasing agricultural production to meet growing demand of Fiji’s
tourism sector,” said Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes.
“The study also provides updated statistics and pragmatic solutions to
increase local food sourcing by the tourism sector.”
The study was made possible with the support of the Australian Government
through the DFAT-IFC Fiji Partnership. IFC and the Australian Government
are working together through the Fiji Partnership to stimulate private
sector investment and reduce poverty in Fiji.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.