The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) policy management team that is currently in Fiji on official engagements has visited the Goodman Fielders (Fiji) International Crest Chicken processing factory, a food processing company at Colo-i-Suva in Fiji yesterday (Thursday 10th November 2022).
Led by the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji His Excellency Joseph Ma’ahanua and MRD Minister Hon. Duddley Kopu, the visit was an eye opener and a successful one.
MRD Solomon Islands head of delegation Minister Kopu was impressed by the visit and the quality control of the poultry processing factory and the magnitude at which the company is operating at.
Minister Kopu said that the scale at which the Crest Chicken company is operating at is inspiring adding there are potential areas where Solomon Islands can learn from and customize at a smaller scale for a start.
He added that the visit was an eye opener for the team and there are takeaways that will certainly be integrated into the reforms that MRD is undertaking particularly the first ever Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy that will lead towards reforming constituency developments in our rural areas.
Minister Kopu and his delegation’s engagements in Fiji is an opportunity to explore opportunities and learn from the challenges and successes of rural development initiatives and models in Fiji mostly in the productive and resource sectors and essential services given that Fiji is ahead of Solomon Islands in terms of rural development.
With MRD embarking on the new SICD Policy, the mission is also an opportunity to establish and forge new partnership with organizations both public or private enterprise working in similar areas and also to customise Fiji’s other successful best practices in the productive and resource sectors towards advancing rural development in Solomon Islands.
Minister Kopu said that Solomon Islands has a large smallholder poultry industry that needs to be properly coordinated and assisted in order to be like Crest chicken in the future.
The need to create farm cooperatives is very important for Solomon Islands as a stepping stone toward developing a proper poultry subsector.
Minister Kopu further added that access to finance and whole value chain approach is key to developing the productive and resource sectors.
Meanwhile, Solomon Islands High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji His Excellency Joseph Ma’ahanua acknowledged Crest Chicken management for accepting the team’s request to visit their processing facility.
“Crest brand actually stand out and you have contributed a lot to the nutrition of Solomon Islands especially through your products,” he said.
“Our local production back home is relatively in low mode and we still have a long way to go, to reach the magnitude that you are operating at now.”
He said the visit was primarily not only to see and witness where the products that end up in shops in the Solomon Islands (SI) actually come from and the quality control within which the products go through, but the visit was purposely to learn on how SI can be able to use Fiji’s best practices and successful models for development in the rural areas in Solomon Islands.
“So, our team’s visit is to see the operations here and to learn what is happening especially the production processes and insights on what can be done on the potentials we have towards developing similar undertaking, not to the magnitude here but at least we start somewhere,” he said.
At the same time, the Company’s Operation Manager, Savenaca Seniloli thanked the Solomon Islands delegation for the visit.
He said that he is looking forward for feedbacks from the visit as he hopes the visit will further boost the relationship between Solomon Islands and Fiji and also form new potential areas of partnership between both countries in the near future as rural development undertaking is concerned.
Crest Chicken is Fiji’s most loved and trusted chicken brand, and is one of Fiji’s food processing companies. Some of the Crest products that are now sold at the Bulkshop, Low price Company and Victory shop in Honiara include Crest chicken, Crest chicken sausages, Crest Chicken Mince, Twisties, tuckers ice cream and Crest eggs to name a few.
– MRD Press