The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (FCCC) special response team is currently conducting inspections in the Northern Division.
FCCC CEO, Joel Abraham said that despite it being the holiday season, and so soon after Tropical Cyclone Yasa, the Commission wants to ensure that Fijians in the Northern Division are not deprived of their rights as consumers.
“It was critical to us that no Fijian, especially if they have been affected by the cyclone, is subject to unfair treatment by unscrupulous traders trying to take advantage of the situation.
Our special response team will conduct inspections and price monitoring on the regulated products and services,” said Mr Abraham.
“Usually after a natural disaster like this, there is a shortage of goods like food items and hardware materials due to supply disruptions. We will be on the ground to look after the welfare of all Fijians by ensuring that there are no breaches of the FCCC Act, such as price gouging.”
Mr Abraham warned consumers to keep an eye out for expired items, or those that have spoiled due to the electricity being disconnected.
“We also warn traders to destroy or discard any item that is unfit for consumption. Do not try to sell them to the public. This is a very serious matter as people’s health and lives are at stake, and if a trader is found doing so, we will take the strongest possible action against them.
In fact, if we find any business breaching the FCCC act, they will be taken to task.”
Mr Abraham also said that FCCC will be assisting Fijian families who have been affected by the cyclone in other ways.
“As part of our corporate social responsibility, we are always looking at ways we can help Fijians beyond just our normal purview of duties, such as through initiatives like donation drives. On this tour, we will be reaching out to affected families. I encourage everyone to dig deep and help our brothers and sisters in need, however you can.”
The Commission reminds all Fijians to stay safe during the holidays and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.