Fiji Water might suddenly become scarce, as the company has closed its doors in the country of Fiji. Fiji Water is feeling that the government of its namesake country is placing undue taxes upon them, and closed its operations within the country Mondy. This is not good news to fans of the water around the world, and puts the product at risk of not existing if things continue down the current road.
According to the Huffington Post, Fiji Water released a statement announcing the decision to close operations in the South Pacific country because they felt they were being singled out by a military-led tax increase. The company not only stated it is closing its facility in Fiji, but that it is canceling orders from suppliers and halting construction contracts within the country. Both are very bold moves by the company, and could potentially cost a lot of money in the short term.
The long-term plan seems to be that Fiji Water wants to show its host country that they are willing to shut down distribution of the product if they feel they have to pay taxes higher than any other company in the area. For fans of Fiji Water around the world, this could be a huge blow because it would mean that no more water would be coming out of the country in this capacity. There haven’t been any official announcements about how long the company will stay closed, but buying a bottle of Fiji Water could be very tough in the coming weeks and months if this closure continues.
It was pointed out in the Huffington post article that the company has been under a very nice corporate tax policy where they only paid $500,000 in taxes the past two years. Before that, they had been under what is being called a “corporate tax holiday,” but it has been something that apparently the government of Fiji has never been pleased with. Their argument is that Fiji Water needs to pay the taxes in order to help a country mired in an economic downturn, and the company doesn’t really care about the people of Fiji, or they would just pay the taxes and continue operations.
This appears to be a huge issue that isn’t going to be solved overnight, and it risks the supply line of Fiji Water to around 40 countries in the world. The question for consumers is whether the company would continue to sell its water, even if it didn’t come from Fiji. The product has a nice brand niche for its purity because they bring it straight up from a deep spring in the country, but if they kept their bottling plants closed within the country, there would be no way to provide that same great product.
It seems hard to believe that a company would close its doors due to just taxes, but maybe they are doing the right thing by calling what might amount to a bluff from the Fijian government. Can they afford to lose a company like Fiji Water? We will just see.