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Read the Nature's Way Case Study

About the company

Nature’s Way Cooperative (NWC) is based in Fiji and has 120 shareholders who are growers and exporters, with the vast majority being small farmers. NWC was established in 1995 to undertake mandatory quarantine treatment on behalf of Fiji’s fruit export industry. Through the services it provides it helps small farmers to access export markets.

Total grant funding approved: ECF A$263,321

About the project

‘Improving marketing services for the Fiji fruit and vegetable industry’, consists of two principal outcomes:

  1. to double the Fiji quarantine treatment capacity for the export of fruit and vegetables. This entails increasing and expanding existing infrastructure and improving handling and treatment systems, including obtaining organic produce certification for the facility
  1. to create a focused industry outreach program to facilitate an increase in the volume and quality of fruit and vegetable exports for Fiji. This will involve the establishment of a technical field service and the purchase of additional equipment for local farmers.

Whilst NWC has already made significant progress on these two components the ECF grant will assist the project to achieve the desired outcomes.

Results December 2012

  • Increased capacity to 3,500 tonnes per year achieved by the new heat treatment chamber, improved handling and grading equipment. Nature’s Way estimates that productivity has improved by 30-40%.
  • Throughput in 2011 was a record 1,300+ tonnes but this declined to 634 tonnes in 2012 as Nature’s Way’s throughput suffered from floods that severely reduced output. Despite this, business is profitable and future commercial viability appears assured.
  • Nature’s Way’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) accreditation has been finalized.
  • Nature’s Way has doubled employment and increased female employees from one to five.
  • The number of shareholders has also increased and now includes for the first time women shareholders and Nature’s Way also has a female board member.
  • An estimated 50 additional small farmers and a similar number of new employees in exporters’ operations are benefitting from export growth.
  • Smaller farmers who will supply directly to existing and new exporters are being provided with seedlings and technical support both increasing and diversifying their incomes.
  • Trial of sea freight of fruit to New Zealand has been successfully completed. Sea freight provides a competitive export advantage for the industry only made possible with the expanded Nature’s Way facilities.
  • New exporters are entering the Fiji fruit growing industry. These new exporters report that Nature’s Way’s facilities and capabilities were important factors in their decision to invest.