Farm-to-Fork to slash $38.5 million hotels food import bill

March 25, 2024 6:31 am

[Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways Fiji/ Facebook]

The Ministry of Tourism aims to capitalize on the Farm to Fork initiative and reduce its high reliance on imported food items.

Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka says a 2018 study shows that Fiji’s hotels spend a staggering $38.5 million annually on imported food items, including vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, and dairy.

However, he says the same study also shows that they have the potential to cut $24 million over the import bill.

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[Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways Fiji/ Facebook]

Gavoka says the Farm to Fork initiative aims to promote sustainable food practices and strengthen connections between the tourism and agriculture sectors.

“We want a tourism industry that uses more Fijian-grown produce and more tourists enjoying our local cuisine. We want to empower our farmers and fishermen to be able to supply and connect to the hotels and restaurants.”

Gavoka says that by connecting farmers directly with chefs, they contribute to the economic development of rural areas.

[Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways Fiji/ Facebook]

“Our focus extends beyond mere collaboration; it encompasses safe food handling, streamlined procurement processes, the promotion of Fijian-made products, and the optimization of supply chains. The key is using tourism as a bandwagon where other primary sectors capitalize on the tourism industry by supplying local produce because when tourism does well, so do other sectors of the economy.”

70 participants attended the workshop, which was conducted in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Ministry of Agriculture.