Update on FMF Group's Capex Plan
FMF is expanding its Veisari factory to accommodate a new unit for manufacture of a wider range of its products and to cater for its growing export demand.
The company has chosen to expand in Veisari partly because of space constraints in its Walu Bay premises but also because this would enable it to tap into the pool of employment seekers residing in the Lami-Navua belt.
At present, a majority of FMF Group’s employees are from Suva city and the Suva-Nausori corridor.
The group is cognisant of the lack of employment opportunities for the many people that live between Lami and Navua and reckons that the new facility will be as beneficial to this community as to FMF.
The new unit is likely to add around 20 jobs to the 90 jobs already provided by the Veisari biscuit factory which works three shifts, six days a week.
The Veisari biscuit factory has been fully functional for the past two years, since August 2017 and has significantly expanded its market and product range.
It has formulated products such as Raun Raun and Sol Cracker specifically for the Melanesian markets of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, while in the Fijian market it has recently launched the FMF Wholemeal Breakfast Cracker, a premium biscuit with additional dietary fibre for better health.
It has also taken over manufacture of a few other products that were earlier being made in the Walu Bay factory.
The new factory in Veisari, which boasts of the most modern biscuit-making machinery is also certified for SQF Level-3 (Safe Quality Food), one of the highest food safety standards.
The FMF Group has also placed orders for replacement of its noodles line which will continue to operate out of Walu Bay.
This new line will help the group cope with the export demand for its ‘Chow’ brand of noodles which besides being popular locally are also very popular in neighbouring Pacific Island Countries.
Last month, FMF completed a major modernization project of its flour mill with upgrades to critical equipment such as plan sifters, roller mills and conveyors. The mill has also installed a new colour sorter and an automated packing machine.
Construction of the group’s new central stores and warehouse, announced in June 2018, is almost complete and operations in this new facility are scheduled to commence in September 2019.
The overall investment by the Group into above capital items is around $ 23 million.
While the flour mill upgrade is complete and central stores almost completed, the other new projects are expected to be completed by March 2020.
July 19, 2019