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Striving for quality makes a winner
Two major exporters in our country have revealed that striving to produce quality exports is the underlying secret to be a winner. At the 2009 TFL Prime Minister’s Exporter of the year Awards held at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa on Saturday 7th October, the Pacific Fishing Company Limited (PAFCO) claimed triple awards of Large Exporter of the Year Award, Fisheries Exporter of the Year Award and also TFL Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award.
PAFCO Chairman Mr Peniasi Kunatuba while receiving the award said it wasn’t easy for a rural based-company to win three awards and despite the damages incurred in the factory due to the fire this year, PAFCO has still remained optimistic and focused on providing quality exports.
He said fisheries has quite a lucrative market and PAFCO with assistance from its North American strategic alliance, Bumble Bee Foods will be able to boost exports in the coming year.
“Bumble Bee has decided to increase investment in PAFCO, initially it will be US$5 million cold storage. For us to be able to double the capacity we will have to look at US$10 million to $15 million,” he said.
Mr Kunatuba said to meet the huge market demand for fisheries, PAFCO had to double the shifts and at the same time increase the intake of workers to boost the production and productivity.
PAFCO, he said is working together with a big food production company that does marketing and now with the closure of Chicken of the Sea in Pago Pago along with toning down of Starkist operation there is a bright future waiting for PAFCO.
Next year, Mr Kunatuba said the company would continue to strive for quality in its exports and will double the volume of cannery.
He said the award is a testimony of their hard work to strive for quality and excellence.
“To be given three awards tonight it is indeed a blessing and I acknowledge the hard work of all the PAFCO staff particularly all out there in Levuka, the ladies and the men who have worked day in and day out to get the company where it is today and in particular also the Vanua of Ovalau the various tikina’s for their untiring support and indeed the Lomaiviti Provincial Council.
“I salute our strategic partners Bubble Bee and also thanks to our major shareholder, the Government of the day for having confidence in the company that is based out in Levuka and its rural based company.”
Sharing the same views is also a triplet winner of Unique or Emerging Exporter of the Year and TFL Hall of Fame Award, Golden Manufacturers Ltd Exporter of the USA Award, Mrs Gaetane Austin Co-owner and Director for Pure Fiji.
Birthed in 2001as its parent company Sanddollars mainly serves the local market and while Pure Fiji is the main export arm of company.
It is only cosmetic manufacturing company in Fiji, which manufactures beauty care products and sell them locally and export them to other countries as well.
Embracing the the three awards, Austin when asked about her secret of success smiled and said the company, Pure Fiji believes in providing the best quality to its customers.
She said Pure Fiji is always trying to improve and develop its products and implement new and better methods of production.
“We are constantly developing and improving our products, we don’t just sit back and think oh well we have won awards and relax until next year. We are developing all the time we watch what is going on overseas, we see where we can implement new ways of producing our products and improving our packaging and we never sit still,” Austin highlighted.
Austin said Pure Fiji now has 2 factories in the Vatuwaqa industrial subdivision that manufactures soaps, candles lotions and other products which are nicely packaged and dispatched.
She said being the first winner for Hall of Fame Award is a privilege and it is the packaging and quality of the products which has been the contributing factor towards their triplet win.
“I think the excellence of our packaging and the quality of our products made us a candidate for this and it takes a lot of money and effort to produce good quality products, we strive to have very hygienic premises and to make sure that our products are manufactured in best possible conditions.
She has advised all the other exporters to take an extra mileage and do research to better the quality of their products to excel in the export market.
“We are always in the stage of developing, improving and expanding our markets and not only that we also make sure that our products always follow current market trends and packaging so we are always changing and developing we don’t just think oh we got good packaging at moment and we will leave it like that for a couple of years, you can’t do that you have to research and ensure that you are up to date with what your competitors overseas are doing because we don’t have any competitors here but we do have competitors overseas. And I think the advice is don’t do anything unless you are prepared to put your heart and soul in it and enjoy it. Because the enjoyment shows shows in your end product,” said Austin.