SUNBIZ

Top Exporter Suffers Loss By Coronavirus Outbreak

Two hundred workers of Ben’s Trading Limited have been laid off as COVID-19 has taken a toll on the business.
03 Apr 2020 13:05
Top Exporter Suffers Loss By Coronavirus Outbreak
Cargo containers at Ben’s Trading Limited headquarters in Navua.

Two hundred workers of Ben’s Trading Limited have been laid off as COVID-19 has taken a toll on the business.

Ben’s Trading Limited is a Navua based company that exports root crops to the overseas market.

Managing director Peni Moi said as of now the farmers whom he does business with have lost close to $70,000 worth of crops.

“I had orders and I had already made arrangements with these farmers.

“Now with my business slowing down, they too are affected.

“I was supposed to export nine containers and it costs me 50,000 per container so that is a huge loss.

“These containers were supposed to be exported to the United States of America, Australia and New Zealand but I could not.

“I have lost close to $700,000 for those nine containers and left over Taro and Cassava to be exporter as well,” he said.

Freight service

Since Fiji Airways has confirmed its first freight service between Nadi and Sydney on Sunday April 5, 2020, Ben’s Trading Limited will be exporting 12.6 tonnes of dalo through this flight.

In a statement by Fiji Airways on Wednesday, it stated: “We encourage all producers, exporters and importers to contact their Freight Forwarders to book space, which will allow us to determine demand and schedule freight services to/ from overseas.

The Fiji Exports Council have also received concerns raised by its members on the impact COVID-19 has had on exporting.

Chairman Michael Towler says exporters are finding it hard to market as intertional trade is greatly affected.

“We need everybody’s prayers,” he said.

Fiji Exports Council currently has 50 members

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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