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Proactive Approach Proves Fruitful

Proactive Approach Proves Fruitful
May 01
10:00 2018

The proactive measure taken by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) in visiting traders and businesses in the flood affected areas proved fruitful as traders cooperated and showed their understanding to ensure full compliance.

A team which was mobilised in the west for a week from April 23 to April 27 2018 undertook inspections of traders and businesses to ensure compliance with the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010 (FCCC Act 2010).

The inspections were done in the areas affected by the recent floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Josie and Keni to minimise the chances of unethical market practices.

The team from the central division visited Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki to ensure traders were operating within the law.

In the instance where traders were noted to be non-compliant, they were issued with infringement notices.

The infringement notices were issued to traders and businesses for failing to comply with the FCCC Act 2010.

In particular, it was noted that there was no price marking, price display, overcharging of Price Control Items and no marked pull dates.

The inspections have allowed for traders, particularly those issued with infringement notices, to undertake appropriate remedial actions to ensure compliance.

The FCCC team will revisit the traders issued with infringement notices to follow up on the same and to ensure they fully comply with FCCC Act 2010.

Should non-compliance persist, traders will be warned for possible prosecution.

While a handful of traders in the respective areas were issued with infringement notices, it was overwhelming to see majority of the businesses in compliance with the FCCC laws.

The proactive approach taken by FCCC was to ensure voluntary compliance to FCCC Act 2010 and doing business ethically.

Alternatively, during the week long operations, FCCC undertook a number of trader and ommunity awareness sessions and stakeholder meetings.

The key purpose of awareness raising was to highlight to the traders and community members alike on the pros and cons of doing business and shopping post a natural disaster.

In the past it had been noted that in the aftermath of natural disasters certain traders who are badly affected tend to engage in unethical practices in order to increase their profit margin and recover the losses.

Such actions however, have a negative impact of the people who are badly affected as they struggle to make ends meet.

Hence, during the awareness phase, FCCC informed traders of fair and ethical business dealings while simultaneously informed members of the public on the things to look out for when shopping post natural disasters.

FCCC through this proactive measure intended to ensure that despite the situation at hand, traders do not breach provisions of the FCCC Act 2010 by engaging in prohibited acts.

At the same time, it wishes to ensure that consumers in Fiji are offered goods and services that are safe and are provided with adequate and accurate information about goods and services.

This is part of FCCC’s Strategic Goal 2.

Simultaneously, the stakeholder meetings conducted with business houses have allowed FCCC to forge greater relations with the external stakeholders and address gaps, if any, in order to work collaboratively in future.

Overall, the week-long operations undertook by FCCC can be deemed a success as the intended audiences were reached out to and the weaknesses that were identified during ground inspections have been remedied accordingly.

FCCC will be undertaking similar activity in the Northern Division as well whereby trader inspections, awareness sessions and stakeholder meetings will be conducted. These are being done to ensure a fair market place for all Fijians.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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