Council Welcomes New CCAG Members

26/07/2017 15:58

The Consumer Council of Fiji today inducted seven (7) Community Consumer Advisory Group (CCAG)members.

Initially the CCAG was launched in 2014 with the support of the European Union in continuing efforts toempower and protect consumers, especially the disadvantaged and marginalised ones. The Advisory group hasproven effective and has grown over the years.

The CCAG which has a voluntary membership represents the rural and remote areas of the country. The 7members are representatives from Savusavu, Taveuni, Levuka, Rakiraki, Lautoka, Labasa and Nasinu.

For a long time now, traders and service providers living in the remote areas continue to take advantage of vulnerable consumers who have no means to defend their rights or voice their concerns. The need for CCAG arises where these traders and service providers happen to take advantage of the fact that the consumers inremote areas do not have adequate access to appropriate enforcement agencies and/or redress mechanisms.Therefore, they continue to profiteer off the vulnerable consumers who are already struggling to fully understand their basic consumer rights and responsibilities.

The representatives from various communities will act as the Council’s ‘eyes and ears”. The CCAG membershave come forward to help the ordinary consumers in their respective communities by informing them abouttheir rights and responsibilities and protecting them from unfair trading practices. They are tasked to providefree support and advice to consumers in their areas who have for a long time now succumbed to theunscrupulous behaviour of the shrewd traders and service providers.

The induction and training workshop was aimed at introducing the new CCAG members on the Roles andFunctions of the Council, the work carried out by the organisation which included complaints handling,research and education and awareness raising programmes. Not to mention how the members can assist theCouncil and the consumers in protecting the rights and interests of the vulnerable consumers who facedifficulty in accessing the services of the Council.

We are hopeful that with the support of the CCAG members, consumers living in isolated areas will get somerelief and will be able to collectively voice their concerns to get value for money. Consumers are encouragedto take full advantage of their CCAG representatives and act in solidarity to create a fair marketplace for all.