SUNBIZ

Sugar Packaging Plant To Open Soon

The Fiji Sugar Corporation is expected to open its Sugar of Fiji Packaging Plant in Lautoka soon. And Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Voreqe Bainimarama will officiate the opening
29 Sep 2015 11:00
Sugar Packaging Plant To Open Soon
Sugar of Fiji Packaging Plant in Lautoka. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

The Fiji Sugar Corporation is expected to open its Sugar of Fiji Packaging Plant in Lautoka soon.

And Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Voreqe Bainimarama will officiate the opening which has cost FSC in access of $2 million.

FSC executive chairman, Abdul Khan, said it is all part of their strategy that will value add and also enhance the brand of Fijian sugar for the new packaging which is the Sugar of Fiji.

“It is basically packing it into retail packages which we will be selling into Fiji, the region and the niche markets of Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“What use to happen in the past was merchants would buy it in 50kg and 25kg bags and then they would refill it into one and two kilograms.

“So that is what we are doing now to actually package it as one and two kilograms and four kilograms, and then put in to cartons.

“Then send it across to the merchants to sell so they don’t have to worry about repackaging it.”

Mr Khan added they will still pack the 25kg and the 50kg bags.

“Because if someone is at a function, they may be better off buying the 25kg bags or a 50kg bags rather than buying a one or two kg bags,” he said.

He said at the moment the entire machine and is going through trials with packaging and they were making sure everything runs well.

“If everything goes well then we should expect it to open within weeks from now we should be able to start basically doing it in a big way,” he said.

 

Staffing

Mr Khan said initially they are looking at about eight to 10 people.

“We have advertised in the papers so that it gives everybody an opportunity that we ensure that we get the best people for the job,” he said.

That will grow as we grow that market and as we grow the whole operation.

“If we are looking at for example the local market then it won’t be that far away from 10 to 12 people but once we get it operating for a 24/7 basis then all we will increase our numbers to suit it.”

 

Next shipment

FSC is expected to send the fourth consignment of sugar as export next month.

“We are supposed to send one in November so basically when everything goes well, will do that,” he said.

Mr Khan said they intend to do now is actually work with suppliers to make sure that they don’t just send the shipment and they end up overloading at their storage.

This was because of the decent amount of storage available in Lautoka.

He said they are working with them to find out what are the best tonnes.

“At the moment we have a ship scheduled in the middle of November. This one will be our forth shipment in the year.”

He said the packaging will happen all year around.

“That is the beauty of being independent. The packaging is part of making sure we do enough retail packages to be in market because people use sugar all year around,” he said.

“That is why we have had it as an independent operation from the mills and other operations.”

 

Sugar and mill operations

Mr Khan said as of yesterday over 150,000 tonnes of sugar have been made by the four mills.

“And the amount of cane that we have processed is just about over 1.3 million tonnes,” he said.

Mr Khan said the four sugar mills around the country are in good shape, however, Lautoka mill suffered mechanical problem on Sunday and crushing is expected to normalise today.

“The mills are pretty good but we have just found a fault in one of our roller mills and with the bearing has failed in the Lautoka mill,” he said.

“Fortunately over the weekends we don’t get much cane so actually we took it out yesterday (Sunday) and everything is going well.

“We will be back in operations tomorrow (today).”

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 



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