This case presents the establishment and subsequent operation of FIJI Water LLC and its bottling subsidiary, Natural Waters of Viti Limited, the first company in Fiji extracting, bottling and marketing, both domestically and internationally, artesian water coming from a virgin ecosystem found on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu. Throughout, the case reviews the growth and market expansion of this highly successful company with the brand name 'FIJI Natural Artesian Water. The company has grown rapidly over the past decade and a half, and now exports bottled water into many countries in the world from its production plant located in the Fiji Islands. In 2008, FIJI Water was ...view middle of the document...
A related objective for this case is then to provide a forum for discussion, analysis and decision making on what the company can or should do in order to successfully cope with the CSR challenges it faces.
Problem Analysis and Data Collection
Below I will present variables involved in this case, the nature of the situation so that we can understand what exactly is going one with Fiji Water LLC.
Fiji Water has been able to develop a unique selling proposition through the distinct source of the company’s water. They are able to promote the benefits of retrieving water from a natural aquifer located in an area as remote as the Fiji island of Viti Levu. Also, Fiji Water has found a narrow market which makes marketing and promoting their product a simpler task. Lastly, the company has an established and effective distribution system. From transporting water from Fiji to delivering packages of the bottled water to customers’ doorsteps, Fiji Water makes sure that their product ends up in the right hands.
Unfortunately, Fiji Water is not without its weaknesses. They have been attacked for their carbon emissions, largely an effect of having to distribute water from such a remote location. This also challenges Fiji Water to “go green” and face the substantial costs of such an extensive business move. They have also been under fire for the negative impact they have had on the actual islands and people of Fiji.
Critical Ethical and Legal Issues
Fiji claims that its products are “carbon negative,” based on the purchase of carbon offsets equal to 120% of the company’s carbon emissions. Fiji has to prove that its carbon offsets will ultimately meet that goal, that consumers are not apprised of the fact that offsets will occur in the future.
Tax Disputes: In 2007-2008, disputes with the Fiji government over export duties led to legal cases, impounded shipments and a self-imposed industry-wide shutdown of Fijian water bottlers. The government eventually dropped its proposed 20-cent per liter tax. In December 2008, Fiji Water laid off 40% of its staff due to weakening sales. Since 2004, Fiji Water has spent approximately US$10 million a year on marketing a global brand with the name “Fiji”. If Fiji Water were to walk away from Fiji, it would lose this brand name, the market that goes with the name and all the profits from the name.
Fiji water has taken steps to present a “green” and charitable brand image, from its 1% for the planet member standing to buying carbon offsets to setting up a trust fund for local villages and helping to fund water sanitation projects and local schools (although the company won’t disclose total charity expenditures
The popularity of the environmental friendly, or “green,” movement presents Fiji with the opportunity to redesign their business and promote their participation and support for the cause.
We learned that Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that all of us should always act to...