2015 World Consumer Rights Day
NCDS ALL ABOUT CHOICES: MINISTER KOYA
“LIFE is precious and it needs to be protected.” This was the message by Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya for the World Consumer Rights Day celebrations where the theme “Consumers’ Right to Healthy Food” has brought the prevalence of Non Communicable Disease in Fiji under the spotlight.
At the Consumer Council of Fiji-organised event, Minister Koya told the youth, mothers, educators and others that beyond the responsibility the Government and the business community have towards standards, it is the consumers who make the choice.
“You as consumers have an even greater role - you make the choices. Because of this, it is important to make well-thought out choices. The Government ensures protection for all Fijians through appropriate laws and measures,” he said.
He said much has been done by the authorities to ensure that Fijians eat fresh and healthy least of all the promotion of buying fresh Fiji grown fruits and vegetables but also making imported food affordable.
“This has been evident through various policies such as the reduction of fiscal duty on fruits and vegetables from 32 per cent to five per cent to enable all Fijians to have access to a variety of fruits and vegetables,” Minister Koya said.
He commended the other stakeholders such as the business community for coming together to fight NCDs.
Council chief executive officer, Premila Kumar highlighted the various cases of misleading labels and fraudulent claims on food items on supermarket shelves.
“Consumers can only know about a product through information provided on the label and we believe these labels must contain the correct information,” she said.
The council is also exploring the idea of having the nutritional value information on the front of the label rather than the back as well as having the information presented in such a way that it is understood by the consumer.
Minister Koya said Government has also put in place the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 to provide pricing determinations which eliminates restrictive trade practices and provides for the consumer protection through provisions on false and misleading representation, misleading advertising and deceptive conduct.
Ministry of Health’s National Adviser on NCD, Dr Isimeli Tukana said the Ministry was trying to bring in the star rating system from neighbours Australia and New Zealand as this has been more effective in attracting consumers on making the right choice.
World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated globally on March 15 but had to be deferred due to adverse weather.
2015 World Consumer Rights Day
Theme : Consumers' Right to Healthy Food
Unhealthy diets contribute to more than 11 million deaths a year. This means it is now a bigger killer than tobacco. Obesity alone is estimated to cost $2 trillion per year. And this isn’t just a ‘rich world’ problem - some of the biggest increases in diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers are in developing countries.
It really is time the world woke up to the price of unhealthy diets.
Consumers International and the global consumer rights movement are calling for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a global treaty to support consumers’ rights to healthy food. A global treaty would:
- Reduce very high levels of fat, salt and sugar in everyday foods
- Reduce the marketing of junk food to children
- Provide clear nutrition labelling to help consumers choose a healthy diet
- Improve the standards of food served in public institutions such as schools and hospitals
Click on the support buttons and join our call for a #FoodTreatyNow to support consumers’ rights to healthy food.
The Council is iniviting interested persons to join our Community Consumer Network Group (CCAG) on a voluntary basis.
Click below for more information:
Information on Suva Private hospital's 24 hour service commencing on Februaruy 2, 2015.
Click below to acces the Public Notice published.
Information on Water Authority of Fiji services (Free water supply)
Click below to access the Customer Information Form
Click below to access the Usage Allowance Form
The Fijian Government Free Medicine Program. Click below for the list.
List of Medicine
Clarification on Price Increase Post-Budget Announcement
The Consumer Council of Fiji is reminding traders to be honest and sell old stock at the old price as duty on old stock was already paid before the budget announcement on 21st November 2014.
This reminder comes after the Council’s three regional offices were flooded with queries from the consumers who experienced immediate price increases on goods following the budget announcement last Friday.
The price increases on all imported alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes by 10 % after the 2015 national budget announcement comes into effect when there is delivery of new stock after the budget announcement. If a retailer is selling these products from his old stock then it must be sold at the old retail price.
According to [Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority] Public Circular No. 9 of 2014, the duty rates and other changes relating to the Customs Tariff Act shall apply to goods arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014. The mentioned time and date also applies to goods relating to changes to the Excise Act.
The duty rates shall also apply for goods removed for home consumption fromWarehouses, Inland Freight Stations (IFS) (un-cleared cargo), Cargo Freight Station (CFS) Tax Free Factories / Tax Free Zones, Duty Suspension Scheme firms, Excise factories and all un-cleared cargo after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014.
The new price only applies when the retailer pays new rate of duty on the new stock of these items arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014.
In other words, all un-cleared cargo after midnight, Thursday, 20th November, 2014 will be charged new duty rate by FRCA which will be passed on to consumers as “increase in price”.
For more information you can visit FRCAs website- http://www.frca.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Custom-Budget-Circular.pdf
The same applies to other luxury items which had a duty increase of 32 %. These items are: perfumes, cosmetics, shaving, or after shave preparations, Camera’s and Camcorders, sunglass, binoculars, video & electronic games, watches, iPods, MP3 and MP4 players and Jewellery.
Retailers must uphold business ethics and fair trade practice and do the right thing and not hoodwink the consumers by increasing the price of old stock where duty was already paid before the budget announcement.
Consumers’ right to information will take centre stage at this year’s World Consumer Rights Day celebrations which will be held tomorrow at Southern Cross Hotel in Suva.
Vodafone Fiji should improve its current services first before even thinking about a 5G network.
The Consumer Council of Fiji, after assessing the cyclone warning, has decided to postpone its World Consumer Rights Day celebrations to a later date.