Sugar Cane Growers Fund joins Anti-Bribery Campaign

Media Team   |   13 May 2022

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) continues its nation-wide anti bribery campaign and integrity efforts by embracing more stakeholders taking up the campaign and spreading the message of anti-bribery across the nation.

The Sugar Cane Growers Fund have joined the “I don’t accept bribes” campaign, a joint nationwide initiative by FICAC with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) under the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project funded by the New Zealand Government.

The launch of the anti-bribery campaign took place in the presence of executives of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund and representatives from FICAC and UNDP on 30 April 2022 in Lautoka.

In his keynote address, Chief Executive Officer of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund Mr. Raj Sharma stated that bribery compromises the integrity of individuals involved, that is, the one who gives and the one who accepts the bribe.

Mr. Sharma further added that the launch came at a timely mater. “This awareness is very timely as we are going through inclusive transformation and providing services to the vulnerable part of the society – farmers where some of them feel that little tips will help to get them special favours. We treat every grower equally and fairly”, said Mr. Sharma.

“At Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) – the matter of good governance is embedded in our Corporate Philosophies – Vision states “sustainable service provider” – Mission mentions provide fair financial services, be ethical and honest and one of the values is Integrity. We of course have zero tolerance on unethical conducts,” added Mr. Sharma.

Speaking at the launch, FICAC’s Manager Investigation West/North Mr. Uwate Biutanaseva stated that Sugar Cane Growers Fund have joined an important agenda aimed towards sustainable development for Fiji through efforts to tackle corruption and bribery.

“The launch of the Anti-Bribery campaign is expected to foster a better relationship between the Sugar Cane Growers Fund and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in the fight against bribery. FICAC cannot fight alone. It needs your cooperation to realise this as a common goal,” said Mr. Biutanaseva.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Anti-Corruption Adviser, Dr. Sonja Stefanovska – Trajanoska stated that given Sugar Cane Growers Fund’s prominence in the national agribusiness ecosystem, the involvement of the institution in the Anti-Bribery campaign sends a strong and positive signal to its stakeholders and the wider business community in Fiji.

“Our presence here today is an important recognition of that fact, and the badges that are about to be awarded are a significant symbol not only of your commitment to integrity, but also your determination to deliver a more prosperous and fairer future for everyone living and working in Fiji,” said Dr. Stefanovska – Trajanoska.

“The benefits of saying no to bribery do not just accrue to society and the national economy, of course. It also means that institutions are committed to anti-corruption benefit through reduced wastage and improved efficiency, transparency and accountability,” added Dr. Stefanovska – Trajanoska.

Dr. Stefanovska – Trajanoska further added that by not accepting or offering bribes, an individual is contributing to making resources available that can be used for economic development.

In his concluding remarks, FICAC’s Manager Investigation West/North Mr. Biutanaseva stated that the fight against bribery is everyone’s responsibility and duty.

“It is very important that we continue to evaluate our processes and procedures to identify red flags that open opportunities for bribery and corruption. I encourage you all to stand up to this call and dedicate yourself to this worthwhile cause,” added Mr. Biutanaseva.