For Immediate Release
Closure of Fiji Water Facility Should Be Permanent
U.S. Consumers Purchase Fiji Water for Approximately 3,300 Times What They Pay for Tap Water
WASHINGTON - “Bottled water company Fiji Water has pulled out of Fiji after the government imposed a tax of 15 Fiji cents per liter on the water, up from just one-third of a cent per liter. While Fiji Water’s announcement may be posturing at this point in protest of the tax, the closure should be permanent. Fiji Water exports bottled water to the U.S., which enjoys clean and safe water from the tap, while half of Fijians lack access to safe water. There is something wrong with this picture.
“Like oil in the 20th century, water has become increasingly managed by corporate cartels that move it around the globe, where it flows out of communities and towards money. The commodification of water will continue to contribute to human rights abuses around the world, whether it helps bolster undemocratic governments or drives water from a community where it is needed.
“Water must be managed as a common resource, not as a market commodity. Unfortunately, celebrities, sports figures and American consumers pay a premium for the Fiji Water brand, buying it at approximately 3,300 times the cost of U.S. tap water. According to the EPA, a gallon of tap water costs consumers anywhere from .002 to .003 cents. A liter of Fiji Water costs approximately $2.19.
“Ironically, Fiji Water, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been named finalists for the Secretary of State’s 2010 Award for Corporate Excellence. It would be extremely unwise for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to honor these corporations, which have been known to extract water from developing countries that are facing water scarcity or that otherwise cannot meet residents’ needs for clean water and sanitation.”
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.