Fiji bottled water built a formidable brand as the purveyor of
pristine artesian water extracted from its host nation's
former volcanoes. And, of course, by cultivating a deeply devoted
celebrity clientele. But the company's marketing team may need to find a
new angle to peddle the expensive product: Fiji is now shutting down its
On Monday, in response to the "untenable" taxes levied by the country's military regime, Fiji Water announced
it "had no choice" but to close down its operations in the nation. The
company canceled orders from suppliers and put on hold construction
contracts in the country—immediately affecting
the nearly 4000 villagers who live in and around the water factory. But
bottled water devotees can take heart that the move may not be
permanent; Fiji would like to have further discussions with the
government about the 15-cents-a-liter tax recently imposed on the
Last year, a brief backlash to Fiji water began after a Mother Jones investigative report detailed
the company's "nearly exclusive" access to the famous aquifer
water, business relationship with the oppressive military regime, and "shady" global financial dealings. But if Fiji doesn't end up selling Fijian water, the regime—according to MoJo's Anna Lenzer
—has boasted that it will "call for international tenders from credible and reputable private sector companies to extract this valuable resource."
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