The Fijian Consulate General and Trade Commission to Australia and New Zealand through the support from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture facilitated the participation of Fijian exporters at the 2018 Fine Food Australia Expo (FFAE), from 10-13 September 2018, in Melbourne, Australia. The Expo provided an opportunity to promote the “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian” campaign in the Australian market, to an audience of over 27,000 visitors comprising wholesalers, retailers and other traders and buyers of food and beverage products. This is the 2nd consecutive year where Fiji has had representation at the FFAE.
Consul-General and Trade Commissioner Mr Zarak Khan highlighted that “such events are an integral part of the Fijian Government’s efforts to support our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) exporters. It gives them a valuable opportunity to secure buyers for their products, learn the best practices such as branding, marketing, packaging and labelling, adopted by exhibitors from other countries selling like products, as well as identify new technology and machinery that they can use to improve efficiencies in their production processes.”
Mr Tomo Zukoshi of Fijiana Cacao/Adi Chocolate stated that “this is the first time we are participating at the “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian” booth at FFAE and I extend my appreciation to the Fijian Government for their vision in providing support to MSME businesses and facilitating their participation at the Expo. Through this Expo I have received new orders for my range of chocolate products using 100% Fijian Cacao and this will help grow our business back home by employing more Fijians. We also gained valuable production and industrial knowledge from other industry players who will help us to grow the chocolate and cacao industry in Fiji.”
Mr Callum Drummond of Bula Batiki stated that “without the support of the Fijian Government a small social enterprise would not be able to participate at this trade show. Bula Batiki helps 43 families on the island of Batiki in the Lomaiviti Group to produce and sell virgin coconut oil. Our business is eco-friendly and sustainable and is 100% owned by the Batiki community. Our participation at this Show has been a resounding success. We have learnt a great deal and also secured some clients for our products.”
A unique aspect of this year’s Expo was the participation of Chef Lance Seeto of the Malamala Beach Club for the 2nd consecutive year. Chef Seeto cooked up a storm at the “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian” booth using “Fijian Grown” produce to create a number of fusion dishes. He stated that “the 2018 FFAE is a great avenue to promote Fiji as a world-class culinary destination. We must continue to put the focus on “Fijian Grown” produce to be put to greater use in tourism industry to ensure the benefits are spread amongst all Fijians. Our local fresh produce is of high quality and can be used in a number of international dishes.”