942 inspections – Trader compliance pleases commission

An official of the FCCC special response team conducting an inspection at a pharmacy in Suva. Picture: SUPPLIED/FCCC

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has revealed it has completed a total of 942 inspections across all the major divisions as of Tuesday May 11, 2021.

According to a statement from the commission 98 inspections were carried out in the Central Division, 220 inspections in the Western Division and 624 in the Northern Division.

CEO Joel Abraham said FCCC teams had increased efforts over the past few weeks.

The commission also had ramped up their inspections to cover as many businesses and traders as possible across the country.

“The situation being faced by the country at the moment is one that we have become familiar with since last year and our teams knew what would be expected of them once COVID-19 became present in our community again,” said Mr Abraham.

“Apart from our routine inspections for compliance with the FCCC Act 2010, we have included inspections for the stock and supply of essentials items as well as ensuring that businesses and traders are following COVID-19 health and safety measures.

“We have found instances of both compliance and non-compliance with traders in each division but, I am happy to say that more instances of compliance has been noted, which is very encouraging news indeed.”

He added the shortage in the supply of sugar caused by supply chain disruptions over the past few weeks had been resolved after having made arrangements between Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) and traders.

“We found, through discussions with FSC, that delays in the delivery of sugar were the main cause for the temporary shortage in sugar supply experienced by traders.

“But that issue has been resolved and sugar supply should have begun to normalise.”

The commission urged consumers to refrain from panic buying or overstocking items as the survey revealed there were more than enough food items and essential cleaning products available in stores.

“I would like to remind all Fijians that there is no need to worry about products running out because our borders are open to imports from other countries,” said the CEO.

“FCCC teams are also continuing with inspections to ensure that traders don’t take advantage of the vulnerability of consumers during these trying times by suddenly increasing the prices of certain items – our job is to protect Fijian consumer rights and we are carrying out this duty diligently.

“We also encourage consumers to come forward and let us know if they are facing any issues such as sudden price hikes in items, conditional selling, or prices of items not being on display.”

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