Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade

The European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) pilot project aims to support commercial ventures and producer groups in becoming export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agricultural and forestry products. The project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji and started in May 2008.

Enterprise Boost: Kaiming Agro
Monday, 25 July 2011 13:45

Enterprise Boost: Kaiming Agro

Like most good success stories, Calvin Qiu’s is one with a twist.

An architectural engineer by trade, Qiu arrived in Fiji on a Chinese construction project in 1996, and promptly fell in love with the country. Three years later, when his construction project came to an end, Qiu switched careers and took up farming in Navua delta, 45 minutes outside the Fijian capital of Suva, supplying fresh produce to exporters and processers.

In 2006, Qiu started Kaiming Agro Processing Ltd, dealing in frozen cassava and taro and brined ginger products. Today, Kaiming Agro is one of Fiji’s leading agricultural exporters with combined exports of 1,915 tonnes in 2010, up from 1,245 tonnes in 2009.

With technical assistance from the Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) Project since 2008, Qiu has managed to grow his business at a sustained pace — and spread the benefits all around.

Kaiming works directly with grassroots growers who supply the company with fresh produce for exports. The number of growers has grown, from between 300 and 350 in 2009 to between 350 and 400 growers in 2010.

FACT has helped Kaiming improve its production and supply network, and food safety programme; develop its ginger processing facility; and expand its export markets.

This year, the company is looking to reach beyond its established export markets in Australia, New Zealand and Tuvalu, and start supplying the lucrative American and European Union markets.

To increase his business, Qiu is expanding into value-added ginger products, including powdered , crystallised and syruped ginger. Its grassroots suppliers will increase to between 400 and 450 this year.

FACT has lent a helping hand by assisting Kaiming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification. This will enable the company to approach new markets with confidence, which will directly benefit Viti Levu and Beqa Island farmers, who are part of Kaiming’s supply chain.
 

 


The European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of SPC.