Have you ever spotted a bottle of Fiji water in your stores? Do you know where it comes from? It is not a mistake to link the name of this water to the islands of Fiji. In fact, this is the place where this water originates.
The Origins of Fiji Water
In 1996, David Gilmour, a Canadian, started the packaging of Fiji Water in his company Natural Waters of Viti Ltd. This company does not take place in Fiji but in Los Angeles, California.
The bottled Fiji Water is sourced from an artesian aquifer located in Viti Levu, one of the greatest islands of Fiji. This water is available in bottles of 330 ml, 500 ml, 1 l and 1.5 l.
Fiji Water’s Controversy
In 2006, a controversy aroused when an advertisement claimed that this particular water is labeled as Fiji because it is not bottled in Cleveland. Insulted by this fact, the Cleveland Water Department decided to compare Cleveland’s tap water to Fiji’s water.
It turned out that a liter of Fiji’s water contained 6.31 micrograms of arsenic while there was no arsenic in Cleveland’s tap water.
Despite this controversy, Fiji water tends to be cleaner than all of the competitor waters and they even state their eco-friendly properties. However, this is not truly right.
Its plastic bottles are produced by diesel-run generators in China. Also, the miles these bottles traveled to Fiji island do not provide the water’s “green” properties.
The company that bottles Fiji water often states how charitable the company is, but they have never shown the exact amount they give to improve the lives of Fijian people.
This may be a little bit offensive since most of these people do not have access to clean water even thought this aquifer appeared in the 90s.
The Natural Waters of Viti Ltd purchased the land along with the aquifer. Unfortunately, many Fijians people experience some diseases due to bacteria, parasites, and viruses found in the contaminated drinking water.
The Popularity of Fiji Water
This particular water gained its popularity, especially amongst celebrities. For example, Fiji exported over 130 million liters of Fiji water last year. This was a result of the increased interest especially due to marketing exposure.
However, the Fiji government won’t stop the export of this water because it gets taxes per liter of the exported water.
For instance, in 2010, the Fiji government proposed an increased tax levy per liter. So, an increase from 1/3 of a cent to 15 cents equaling $231,397 to $10,644,254.
For this reason, the Fiji water decided to move to New Zealand to a new water source. However, the Fiji government threatened to lease the aquifer to another company. Because of this, Natural Waters of Viti Ltd accepted the increased tax levy and keep on exporting Fiji’s water.
Even though a single bottle of Fiji water costs about $4 but the Fijian people pay a much greater price with their overall health.