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Specialist Fijian companies are looking to connect with New Zealand partners, with smart technology solutions that benefit both consumers and communities.

Think of Fiji and you’ll no doubt picture friendly faces, swaying palms and those traditional ‘salusalu’ flower necklaces upon arrival. But in recent years a quiet business evolution has taken place in this South Pacific paradise. It is the emergence of local technology developers marketing cutting-edge digital solutions – and there are many benefits for New Zealand companies.

This technology update showcases two of Fiji’s most exciting digital platforms – Traseable and Makete – and the Fiji Trade Commission to Australia & New Zealand is only too happy to facilitate introductions.


Collaborative, transparent traceability

When husband and wife team Ken and Shauna Katafono founded Traseable Solutions ( in 2017 they already had more than a decade of experience in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector across the Pacific as well as experience across national and regional fisheries.

With no prior business experience they quickly built a team of other like-minded Pacific Islanders to meet their vision for transparency and complete digital end-to-end traceability of fisheries products exported from the Pacific region to global markets.

That vision was soon extended to include the region’s growing agricultural sector.

Today its ‘Traseable Farms’ platform represents more than 50,000 farmers across four Pacific countries.

Traseable’s blockchain-ready[1] Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform fosters collaboration between stakeholders. It leverages and integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technology with a resulting full transparency from sea, or farm, to table anywhere in the world.

“Fijian producers, through us, now have the capability to provide agricultural and fisheries produce into the New Zealand market, and they can assure traceability, compliance to food safety standards, and meet third party certification schemes,” explains Ken.

“We are seeking partnerships and have a vision to help Fijian producers sell into the New Zealand market.”

Traseable’s digital platform delivers full traceability across the value chain, and Ken says New Zealand individuals and companies that buy Fijian products, using the Traseable platform, receive full assurances and verifiability of any claims made by the producers – such as organic certification.

Traseable is an excellent example of the tech entrepreneurship that now exists across Fiji. Ken and Shauna are proud of how they’ve pushed themselves to be an innovator in a challenging environment where data and technology are not well understood.

“Through our work and achievements we hope we’ve inspired other Fijians and Pacific Islanders who follow us,” says Ken, “and they’re now confident that success in the technology industry is possible.”

He believes consumers worldwide are now more discerning about the source of their food. Fraud in food value chains is also being exposed.

“Markets increasingly require traceability of products and countries like Fiji must ensure they can continue to access these markets. Traceability is also an important part of differentiating our high value agriculture commodities to access niche opportunities.”

Data collected along the value chain has been invaluable to Traseable’s clients, and has led to improvements and new opportunities. International clients are also surprised that Fiji has such tech capability, particularly from such young companies, and that the capability is growing at pace.

“Our goal is also to be the leading traceability services provider in the Pacific Islands that provides guarantees of the origin of Pacific products,” says Ken.

Ken and Shauna are excited about realising change and making a positive impact in the region’s agriculture and fisheries sectors. Their desire is to continue working with communities to help bridge the digital divide and help people leverage technology to earn a decent income.


E-commerce Fiji-style

Another innovative local tech business that’s making a real difference in Fiji is Solved Fiji – a company focused on accelerating social and economic development with its innovative ICT technology services.

Solved Fiji’s CEO John Magnifico says the company’s core focus is putting people before profits and helping accelerate Fiji’s transformation to a leading first world country. Early on it developed a number of initiatives around digital agriculture and irrigation, but it’s most notable achievement to date from a Kiwi buyer perspective is its Makete digital e-commerce shopping platform.

Makete ( has been running since early 2018 and allows Fijian business owners to expand sales of goods and services within, and outside, Fiji, says John. The large Fijian diaspora living in New Zealand and looking to purchase Fijian goods and services for family and friends back in Fiji is one particular important target.

Solved Fiji has other goals for 2021 too.

“Our focus is on raising awareness of the opportunities for New Zealand companies and entrepreneurs to access highly qualified and trained ICT professionals through our company,” says John. “We’re also looking to foster investments and partnerships with New Zealand businesses to expand our reach to those in most need in Fiji.”

The focus of Solved Fiji is to support Fijians from the ground up with people, processes and technology. A key milestone was reaching 100 local vendors on the e-commerce marketplace, without the need for any paid promotion.

Self-funded and modelled on a cooperative, the platform features a decentralised operational network with centralised management and support. For smaller scale enterprises it has resulted in increased incomes and productivity, relief for vulnerable communities, and the empowerment of women.

“Makete allows micro and small businesses to have their own online store in one convenient place at minimal cost, instead of having to host their own website and payment gateway capabilities at an exorbitant cost,” explains John. He describes it as the “Alibaba or Amazon for the South Pacific region”, on which buyers can quickly and efficiently buy items direct from the merchant through multiple methods including international money transfer, electronic payments, credit/debit card and e-wallet.

While the founders of Makete are pleased with the platform’s metrics and sustainability, it’s their weekly training sessions with locals that gives them the most satisfaction. A bonus is the platform’s ability to track the financials of participating merchants and sellers, who can then generate reports to supply to financial lenders should they need their services.


Tech capital of the South Pacific

John Magnifico is upbeat about Fiji’s future as a technology hub. He’s encouraged by the number of young Fijians graduating each year with core ICT skills and eager to develop those skills further. And with Fiji boasting high-speed Internet access even to its remotest islands, plus a tech-savvy population, it makes it even more attractive for tech start-ups and as an outsourcing option.

Fiji continues to be an attractive destination for New Zealand companies, thanks to its matching time zone, excellent telecommunications infrastructure, young and highly educated English-speaking workforce, and numerous incentives to help get established.


For more information about investing in Fiji’s tech sector or connecting with these enterprises please contact [email protected]

This story was also publiushed in the August 2021 issue of NZBusiness magazine.


[1] Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that allows the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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