Launching of the Community Consumer Advisory Group (CCAG)

24/06/2014 11:48

In a joint effort to empower and protect consumers, especially the disadvantaged and marginalised ones, the Consumer Council of Fiji, with the support of the European Union, will be launching a Community Consumer Advisory Group (CCAG) tomorrow (Wednesday, 25th June) in Suva.

The group, which has a voluntary membership representing rural, remote areas of the country, will act as the Council’s eyes, ears and voice on the ground.

To date, the Council has identified eight representatives from Savusavu, Taveuni, Navua, Sigatoka, Tavua, Rakiraki, Seqaqa and Bua to be part of the CCAG.

"The European Union attaches great importance to the protection of consumer rights and our cooperation with the Consumer Council of Fiji in this area goes back many years," said Mr Adam Janssen, Chargé d'Affaires of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific.

"The EU is very pleased with the work that the Consumer Council has been carrying out, particularly by stepping into areas where there is need to create a fair, safe and informed marketplace for consumers."

"In 2009, the European Union supported the Council in strengthening consumer rights and eliminating unfair trade practices in Fiji through advocacy of consumer protection laws. This made a remarkable impact on consumerism in Fiji. I am delighted to say that the launch of the Community Consumer Advisory Group today is yet another milestone achievement that we are proud to be supporting," Mr Janssen said.

Under the European Union project, “Creating a Fair Marketplace for Consumers through Consumer Information and Redress Mechanisms”, the CCAG will be the primary contact group for consumers who need immediate assistance in the form of advice or guidance to seek redress from traders who engage in bad business practices. They will be engaged in educating consumers on their rights and responsibilities as well as reporting on complaints or issues faced by consumers in their communities.

Consumers, particularly those living in remote parts of the country are at the mercy of traders anddealers who are known to be selling defective, poor quality or expired items.

The European Union-supported initiative will assist the Council to safeguard consumer interestsand empower consumers where the Council’s reach is limited.

The Council is hopeful that after the setting up of the CCAG, consumers living in isolated areas will get some relief and will be able to collectively voice their concerns to get value for money.

We encourage consumers to take full advantage of the CCAG and join in to assist not just the Council, but to create a fair marketplace for all.