News and Editor's Comments Thursday 27.7.11

PFC Factory at Levuka
Thursday 27.7.11
LEVY ON FISH EXPORTS HELP LOCAL JOBS. The imposition of the $350 levy per tonne trans-shipped from Fiji imposed by the  2011 Budget will result in more on-shore processing. Currently, some 30% of Fiji's total catch is trans-shipped at the expense of local jobs.
... BUT ELSEWHERE FISHERY WORKERS FACE HARDSHIP. An unknown number of Pacific Fishing Company (PAFCO) workers have been laid off for two months while renovations are made to align standards at the Levuka factory with those set by the US Food and Drugs Administration. No provision has been made to pay the workers for this forced time off work.
IT'S GOOD NEWS that other fish processors will help PAFCO to maintain supply,
... AND NICE that US housewives will not be inconvenienced—  as the Fiji Broadcasting release below shows, 
... BUT who is going to maintain the workers and their families? 

Fiji Broadcasting reports: "Local fish processors have vowed to back PAFCO during its partial closure, ensuring that supply is kept as robust as possible.
Fiji Fish Managing Director Graham Southwick says while six other fish processors have their own markets and buyers, they have made a commitment to support PAFCO.
Southwick says he has been told it’s a temporary - partial closure – while other sections of the factory are operating at various levels.
"It is the cooked loins to the U.S that are the problem and other sections are able to operate to some extent. The cooked loins are their major business so its obviously a situation they’ve got to take care of as soon as possible. PAFCO chairperson Peniasi Kunatuba refuted reports that two containers of their products were recently rejected by US authorities saying they were only ‘put on hold.’
The Head of the Food Unit Samu Bolalailai says a team from the US Food and Drug Administration will be in Fiji soon to certify PAFCO’s operation.

FIRST AGRICULTURAL CENSUS IN 18 YEARS. The 2009 Agricultural Census, the first in 18 years,  is being used by the Agricultural Department to "map the way forward." New policies and programmes are expected to boost production from next year.
METHODIST ELECTIONS. Three key posts in the Methodist Church will be up for election at next month’s annual conference, including the positions of president and general secretary, currently held respectively by Rev.Ame Tugaue and Rev.Tuikilakila Waqairatu.The Church has also confirmed that the annual levy would be collected from all circuits, but there would be no special fundraising this year.
MICRO ENTERPRISES FOR UNEMPLOYED. Plans are underway to develop small micro enterprises for up to 20,000 unemployed people registered by the National Employment Centre.
FIJI EMBASSY IN SOUTH AFRICA. The PM is in South Africa for the opening of the new High Commission which will also serve nearby African countries. The opening, scheduled for the July 29, is another step towards increasing Fiji's international presence beyond its traditional relationships, as mandated in Pillar 11 of the Peoples Charter, enhancing global integration and international relations. -- Based on 1512/MOI. Fiji has also established diplomatic relations with Malawi.


In good company said…
Thanks for informing us re establishing diplomatic links with Malawi...Thompson is doing such a wonderful job in aligning us with such progressive democratic countries?? Isn't Malawi the country that the US has just withdrawn all support becuase of poor leadership and ongoing political violence which has left scores dead? We are in good company here...
Yea yea said…
If only the pm put as many hours into fixing the sugar industry as he does flying around the world.
Anonymous said…
@ in good

To be fair Fiji needs friends where ever they can find them
Anonymous said…

I see in today's press the AG is blaming fnpf poor performance on au and nz travel bans !

Hadn't heard that old excuse for a while
No longer blind........ said…
@ BUT who is to maintain the workers and their families?

No one factors trivia like this into any decision made now. one really cares. When people fall prey to ideology, the straightjacket and the jackboot rule.

As the economic indices clearly demonstrate, the cake is shrinking and the icing melted long ago.

Playing the 'blame game' is generally a sign of desperation trumping rational thought. Ideas are running out because that is what happens on all marches of folly.

Fund-raising in schools to be restricted? Yet the budget for schools has shrunk. Pensioners are to be cut to parsimonious pay-outs yet board members and administration continue sucking in their share? Fiercely defensive in the fray.

"In the Valley of the Blind, the one-eyed man is king".
Google It! said…
This obscenity - of forcing people into unemployment with no idea of how long it will last and no safety net - will reap its own reward.

History is very clear about this. Google it.
True Blue said…
Sorry, Croz but don't believe for a second that rubbish about fostering international relations with South Africa. It all plays well in the media (your media, at least) but the real reasons for that high commission are based on certain people's desire to see some very specific business relationships start.

Stop believing everything that is being put out by Sharon's big mouth.
Truer Blue! said…
@ True Blue

Do not agree with you, TB. South Africa has many lessons for Fiji which are valid and might be adopted. It has also made many mistakes and is making them still. But we may learn from them all.

The ability to overcome apartheid as an ideology was monumental. The role that President Nelson Mandela played personally and the assigned role to Rugby Union and a World Cup Match (viz the Movie and the book "INVICTUS") were visionary, creative and successful for a while. Unfortunately, President Mandela was only one person and he has had no one to rival or replace him. An exceptional man whose vision of forgiveness and reconciliation without rancour is unrivalled anywhere else in the world.

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