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IFC-led Study Reveals Hotels in Fiji’s Main Tourism Areas Source 48 Percent of Their Fresh Produce Needs Locally

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 sourced items.
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.
About IFC
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 .
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