59% of traders are non-compliant with consumer protection laws

November 26, 2022 12:20 pm

Chief Executive Officer Seema Shandil [File]

Consumer Council of Fiji’s continuous market surveillance over the last 3 months has revealed an appalling amount of non-compliant traders and service providers.

Chief Executive Officer Seema Shandil says out of the 648 traders, and services providers inspected, 59% were not compliant with one or more of the consumer protection laws in place.

She says the survey was conducted in the Central, Western, and Northern Divisions and figures show that almost 6 out of every 10 businesses inspected were non-compliant with consumer protection laws.

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Shandil says this indicates a high level of ‘profit-first, consumers last’ attitude of businesses.

She adds that the highest number of non-compliance is in the area of food and drinks.

According to the CEO, many traders continued to defy food safety regulations and were found retailing expired food items, tempering with expiry dates, selling prohibited food items, selling priced control items above regulated prices, and food establishments preparing food in unhygienic conditions.

She adds such cases are also flagged to relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Health and Municipal Council for stringent action.

The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging Fijians to be vigilant as they continue to work closely with relevant enforcement agencies to iron out these issues and continuously push for stringent enforcement actions.