2011: Leader of the world-wide Seventh Day Adventist Church Dr Ted Wilson praying with Frank Bainimarama in PM's Office in Suva:
'You must walk humbly with God'
The God Dividend: The Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Company is the trading name of two sister food companies (Australian Health and Nutrition Association Ltd and New Zealand Health Association Ltd). Both are wholly owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The two Sanitarium companies don't pay company tax on their profits, due to their ownership by a religious organisation. Sanitarium have defended their tax exemption, stating they operate exclusively for charitable purposes, and that income tax exemptions are available to all companies and individuals who limit themselves to charitable purposes. However the exemption has been criticised and is considered unfair by their competitors. Its flagship product is Weet-Bix, now given by Bainimarama's government to all Year 1 students in Fiji, while other students have to just look on in envy and anger - 'Milk and Wheet Bix Apartheid'
“I’m especially delighted to announce that as well as a free glass of milk a day, each Class One child will also be given a serve of Weetbix a day, thanks to the CJ Patel Group and Fiji Dairy Limited.” - Bainimarama; CJ Patel is the agent for Sanitarium foods. PMeghji lost the distributorship due to their liquor business some years ago. Weetbix is promotional stuff thrown in by CJ and Sanitarium Foods. Did CJ pay zero in tax and duty?
One promotional Weetbix in a plastic packet for each 20,000 students daily in Fiji. Any tax concession and duty on milk?
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made the announcement while launching the Free Milk Initiative at Nakelo District School in Tailevu this morning.
“I’m especially delighted to announce that as well as a free glass of milk a day, each Class One child will also be given a serve of Weetbix a day, thanks to the CJ Patel Group and Fiji Dairy Limited.”
“They are also very generously providing you with your very own bowl and spoon. I wish to thank the CJ Patel Group of Companies and Fiji Dairy Limited who have partnered with my Government for all the hard work it has put in to deliver this massive logistic undertaking and have gone the extra mile to ensure that all class one students receive a healthy meal every morning.”
Speaking to the students of the Nakelo District School, Visama Sanatan, Nuku District School, Ratu Veikoso Primary School, Kaba District School, Nasemila Primary School and Daku Primary School, Bainimarama said more than 20,000 children will benefit from the Free Milk Program across Fiji.
“We are building healthy bodies in this first year of your school lives to help build healthy minds. To enable you to benefit fully from the education revolution, we are pursuing to make you smarter and turn Fiji into a clever country.”
“My Government promised through the FijiFirst manifesto that we would provide this milk from the start of the school year. It has taken a bit longer than we thought but we have been determined to get the program exactly right for the sake of every year one child – no matter where they live - and here it is.”
“Not every Fijian child is privileged at home to enjoy the benefit of a glass of milk a day. But for our Year One students, those days are over. In this critical first year of school, we are giving them a nutritional boost to strengthen their bodies and it doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from. Every YearOne student benefits.”
“As with our free education program for all students in primary and secondary schools, no longer is a child’s family circumstances the determining factor in whether he or she receives adequate nutrition in the first year of primary school or gets the best possible start in life.”
“Whether your parents are well off or struggling, you are all getting the best possible chance to have both a healthy life and a good education,” said the Prime Minister.
“And from where I stand as Prime Minister, nothing that my Government has ever done is more noble because by building healthy bodies and healthy minds, we are building a healthier and smarter nation for the benefit of every Fijian now and in the years to come.” Source: Fijilive, 23 March 2015