Thanks to Jean D'Ark commenting on Fiji Today Blogsite, we can be enlightened to the underlying issues surrounding the saga of Fiji Water vs the illegal govt of Fiji.
"The perceived “value” of Fiji Water as a product does not primarily come from the physical water resource itself!
Rather, it comes from the marketing “goodwill” that Gilmour and the Resnicks have been able to generate for Fiji Water. (Notwithstanding that “Fiji” had significant “natural purity” implications before they started. However, this perception would be destroyed for anyone who simply visited Fiji and witnessed our roads, our lack of town planning, our rubbish problem, and our squatter settlements).
Anyway, this is a branding and marketing issue, not a bricks and mortar one.
The proof of this pudding is that fact that if Fiji Water DOES close down and move its production off-shore, Fiji will NEVER be able to re-produce Fiji Water’s market success via any new “replacement” aquifer lease-holders.
There are many aquifer sources throughout the world that have better purity, total dissolved solids and taste ratings than Fiji Water. There are even some within Fiji itself. Why have these not been able to out-perform Fiji Water in the market. People who do not understand branding, or market momentum and dynamics (eg. all the post-2006 Cabinets) will never understand.
Better quality resource, or even the same resource, will not actually mean much to the non-connoisseur buying public. That is because their purchase decisions are based on the PERCEPTION of purity and value – which all reside in the brand. Fiji Water owns all the overseas trademarks for their brand – so they can move anywhere and re-use these (although not within some brand damage). Meanwhile, nobody from Fiji will be able to do the same (except perhaps within Fiji’s EEZ via a new decree).
But no “replacement” bottler in Rakiraki will ever be able notch even 10% of Fiji Water’s overseas sales because nobody there knows them from a bar of soap. They cannot even use the word “Fiji” in their product names in the US. But even that would be of questionable value since Fiji will have since become a by-word for greedy ignorance, instead of unspoiled naturalness. Thus is the “golden goose” cooked for good, and the lightning in the Fiji Water bottle lost forever. Even the Resnicks would not be able to re-create it.
So back to the resource tax issue. Since logically much if not most of Fiji Water’s market value comes from its brand (cultivated overseas by Gilmour/Resnicks), why should they pay extra tax on something which they got from their own marketing work. They are not mining existing value left by God in Fiji which anyone could have mined. They are trading on something they carefully built themselves!
So the question is – why do the Resnicks have to pay extra tax to bail out an illegal Government with large tax shortfalls which CAUSED their own revenue problems in the first place anyway by the coup and subsequent Governmental mismanagement that they broke the law to commit, and from which there has been NO worthwhile benefit?"