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TCF Council of Fiji makes their mark
Dec '10
Advanced planning, e-campaigning and collaborative efforts were all smartly combined over this past week to help the Textile, Clothing & Footwear Council of Fiji generate high returns at a recent Melbourne Trade Show.

The International Sourcing Fair was held in Melbourne Australia from 17-19 November and Fair was 'the' place to be if you are in the clothing industry whether acting as a buyer, seller or a middleman who does both in Australia & New Zealand.

Fiji's delegation consisted of a delegation of 7 companies representing Fiji's TCF industry under the “Make It In Fiji” banner. Taking its cue from the show's attendance which was considered to be strong, the TCF Council of Fiji's results could only be described as 'very positive'.

The TCF Council of Fiji booth was busy. At the show, a good number of contacts were generated and strong impressions were established or in some cases, re-established. There was also interest in investing in Fiji. Along with AusAid, the TCF Council also received assistance from Fiji Government, Fiji Trade Consulate Sydney, Pacific Island Trade & Invest, and Gibson Freight to ensure the success of this trade mission.

TCF Council of Fiji also had the opportunity to address a large audience of importers & buyers with a half hour presentation specifically highlighting Fiji's distinct competitive advantages.

Opening with a strong message on customized orders and service, Council President Kalpesh Solanki spoke on the results of some recent industry wide audits. “Our members adhere to strict 'Quality Assurance' levels. We are audited and assessed at a standard that will match any elite performance certification.” Solanki espoused.

Social accountability was also addressed in the presentation. This included a short video where independent auditor John Hardin expressed that Fiji had scored high grades “up there with any country in the world” and Solanki followed through appropriately on what that means to industry buyers. He said, “It means that you yourself, as a citizen of the world, can sleep well knowing that there was no exploitation involved in what you buy and in what you sell.”

Nilesh Jamnadas of Danam Fiji Ltd, a Lautoka based clothing manufacturer, took a moment to put the show's success into proper perspective. “We're all excited about establishing new connections, enhancing old connections and even rekindling a few lost alliances. Still, our work has only begun as some of these relationships will take years to bear fruit while others seem to be ready to place orders within days. In the end, we just need to remain diligent in staying in touch with both good words and good deeds.”

The TCF Council of Fiji appears quite ready to further capitalize on the premise behind its Make it in Fiji campaign. A concerted plan of follow-up effort, database building and PR campaigning are to follow.

In the ensuing months and years, the success of Fiji's TCF industry will always begin and end with its commitment to quality. Solanki concluded, “I think the collective approach and the positive responses have been an eye opener for us. We've just scratched the surface on what Fiji can accomplish when we apply all our flexibility and ingenuity.”

Textile, Clothing & Footwear Council of Fiji

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