Farmers urged to enhance packaging for export markets

May 28, 2024 4:15 pm

Commercial agriculture farmers who mostly focus on export markets are being urged to pay attention to all the tiny details before sending their produce to their destined markets.

Jeffery Turner, Chair of the New Zealand-based J&P Turner Group, says he has often observed that packaging from Pacific Islands, including Fiji, has been too weak, which deteriorates the quality of the produce.

Turner says farmers need to invest in world class export grade packaging to ensure their produce maintains the freshness.

Article continues after advertisement

“And so many times I witness produce arriving in New Zealand, the bottom has collapsed, and the produce in those cartons is damaged. And that immediately discounts the product in the customer’s mind. They devalue it, they ask for claims, the poor grower suffers, and just because they save a few cents on the packaging when they buy it.”

Turner further states that once the farmers get the quality grading, packaging and presentation up to date, they can work on their branding.

“Use your Fiji name, Fiji Taro, Fiji Ginger, Fiji pawpaw, whatever it is. And the growers working together, under set quality standards, they get critical mass, they can supply the market’s needs, and they can establish a good name in long term business. And so I think there’s a great opportunity for Fiji.”

Some of the commodities currently being exported to New Zealand include dalo, eggplants, pawpaw, chillies, and other vegetables.