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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Government grants licenses to mahogany buyers

April 03, 2013: The granting of licences to buyers of grades three to five mahogany will create more jobs for Fiji’s rural population including women.

While granting licences to eight buyers of mahogany, the Prime Minister and Fiji Mahogany Industry Council chairman Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said Government wanted to ensure that companies licensed to sell mahogany were committed to help Government develop a quality Fijian brand that would fetch a higher price on the international market.

“No longer can unscrupulous buyers sell Fijian mahogany mixed with illegally harvested mahogany from other parts of the world,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

“We also want to make sure companies that are licensed to sell our mahogany are committed to adding value to the product. And that these value-adding activities take place in Fiji.”

The head of government also said the granting of licences today marked one of the final steps in the first phase of government’s reform of the mahogany industry.

“My Government introduced two decrees (Mahogany Development Decree and Mahogany Industry Decree) to bring about this reform. They introduced international best practices in management and operations, a rational licensing scheme and a vision for the Fiji brand,” PM Bainimarama said.

“The Mahogany Development Mahogany Decree instils transparency and efficiency in Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited’s management of this resource. It formed the Mahogany Industry Council, and redefined the roles of FHCL and the Fiji Mahogany Trust.”

Touchwood Investments Limited, managing director, Ugesh Narayan said he was pleased to be granted a licence to purchase grade three to five mahogany.

“The licence will allow us to have a consistent supply and a guaranteed supply of mahogany enabling us to market that same volume of products to our customers knowing that resources are there,” Mr Narayan said.

The Fiji Mahogany Industry Council has to date lodged registration of the Fiji Pure Mahogany Brand in more than 19 countries.

The eight companies that were awarded licences today are A1 Access Technology, Bua Mahogany Limited, Dayals Sawmillers Ltd, Green Lumber Solutions Ltd, Nukurua Mahogany Trust Holdings Company Limited, Pacific Western Timbers, Touchwood Investments and Wood Moulders (Fiji) Limited.

-ENDS-