Lami Kava launches Domestic Violence and Workplace Policy on #IWD22
Lami Kava, one of Fiji’s leading kava exporters, broke new ground today with the launch of its policy on domestic violence to build a more respectful and supportive workplace.
It’s a significant move for the company and for Fiji as more employers are addressing domestic violence, which affects two out of three women in the country.
The company’s Managing Director, Donny Yee, said the policy represents an important part of their business operations to prevent domestic violence in the workplace and improve the safety of employees.
“The plan recognises that domestic violence is a major problem in Fiji and can impact the work performance, productivity and safety of our employees,” Mr Yee said.
Through its partnership with Lami Kava, the Australia and New Zealand funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus (PHAMA Plus) Program assisted the company to review and update its workplace policies, including those related to gender equality and explore the development of a workplace domestic violence policy.
The policy helps Lami Kava employees understand what constitutes domestic violence and specifies the responsibilities of the company and employees towards preventing or addressing it with clear procedures for reporting and investigating cases. It also specifies remedial actions and support measures for employees experiencing domestic violence.
A study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) found that the impact of domestic and sexual violence on businesses, translated into lost staff time and reduced productivity of up to 10 days per employee each year. It further showed, through IFC’s flagship private sector “Rakorako” program, that having workplace responses to domestic and sexual violence was not only morally right but leads to more satisfied employees, ultimately improving business results.
While officially launching the policy, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said: “Lami Kava’s action through this new policy demonstrated its leadership within the kava industry and community, to address the impacts of domestic violence on its people and its business. Australia is pleased to support this important policy through PHAMA Plus and its partnership with Lami Kava.”
To help Lami Kava staff better understand and effectively implement the policy, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre delivered a Domestic Violence Learning Session on Saturday 5 March 2022. Two Lami Kava women employees have been assigned as domestic violence support officers.
PHAMA Plus National Export Market Systems Facilitator – Fiji Navitalai Tuivuniwai said: “PHAMA Plus congratulates Lami Kava for committing to prevent domestic violence in the workplace through this policy. We look forward to supporting similar initiatives with other partners as part of efforts to tackle gender inequality and other inequalities that provide the conditions for gender-based violence.”
Lami Kava has also been part of PHAMA Plus Family Farm Teams trainings which encourages effective, sustainable and gender equitable farming and business practices. Lami Kava employs about 62% of women across its production, retail and distribution chains across Fiji.