(L-R) Alison Burchell,(Acting PS Agriculture) Sachida Nand,(FCDCL CEO), NZ High Commissioner Mark Ramsden and Simon Cole,(FCDCL Chairman). Photo: SUPPLIED.
Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) today opened its new shop, specializing in products for dairy farmers.
Opened by outgoing New Zealand High Commissioner His Excellency Mark Ramsden, FCDCL Farmlands is the result of years of planning by FCDCL.
“This has proved to be a very resilient industry having survived several major blows in recent years from TC Winston to the outbreak of Brucellosis and also Bovine TB. Despite all those challenges, you have collectively overcome that and are still able to innovate with new ideas,” said Mr Ramsden.
The New Zealand High Commissioner also launched FCDCL’s new website today with future plans by the company to develop a specialized app that will allow farmers to access relevant information and data directly.
“The interactive website and the Farmland Shop represents a joint investment of close to $500,000 by FCDCL. They both offer an avenue for dairy farmers to access all consumables and equipment needed for their farms under one roof,” said FCDCL CEO Mr Sachida Nand.
The Farmland shop will sell dairy products based on a two tier pricing system for shareholder farmers and outsiders.
“We are grateful to the Fiji and New Zealand Governments and the Agriculture Ministry for their ongoing support in helping us achieve milestones such as today’s,” Mr Nand added.
High Commissioner Ramsden added that New Zealand’s ongoing assistance to the industry through its funding of the Fiji Dairy Industry Development Initiative (FDIDI) can only grow with such local confidence.
“The fact that farmers get up at 4am daily to milk their cows certainly reflects robust discipline, and a firm hope for the future. A hope that can also be complemented by initiatives such as this one-stop Farmland Shop,” said Mr Ramsden.
FCDCL Chairman Simon Cole said today’s event also ties in with plans to modernize the industry.
“This is part of our strategic plan to improve and value add services we offer so that in return, we get higher productivity and also improved profitability for farmers,” said Mr Cole.
Today’s event was also one of High Commissioners Ramsden’s final official engagements, with FCDCL staff and dairy farmers bidding him farewell with the traditional “Isa Lei.”
FCDCL Farmland is located on the ground floor of its Manoca headquarters, in Nausori and is open to all farmers.