Over the past 6 years, E G Carter & Co Ltd has been supporting local Gloucestershire based Company, Bula Batiki, as they go on their journey to make a life changing difference to Batiki, a small island based in Fiji.
The Gloucestershire company aim to create a sustainable island where its 300 villagers can maintain their cultural heritage and stay on the island. Due to lack of income and jobs, many of the villagers were having to leave their homes in search for employment, leaving the island to become a shadow of its former self.
Founder of Bula Batiki, Callum Drummond’s first goal was to build a new office block for the school on the island. After approaching Managing Director, Michael Carter in 2012, E G Carter offered to help towards the building costs and materials to ensure the building was completed. The new office block gave the school access to have a library of books and new resources, and gave the school staff an area where struggling students can have small-group learning sessions outside of the large classroom environments.
In 2014, Callum and a team came up with the idea of exporting coconut oil from the island and selling it across the globe. Doing this enables the small island of Batiki to create a sustainable lifestyle, increase the income of the island and maintain their cultural heritage by staying on the island. E G Carter & Co Ltd helped by providing the transport to transfer 3/4 ton of coconut oil from ports in Ipswich and Doncaster back to Gloucester. Without this help Bula Batiki would not have been able to successfully get the oil back to Gloucester.
Callum said “Without the help of E G Carter & Co Ltd, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve building the new school office or transporting the goods back to Gloucester. If anything, E G Carter & Co Ltd have helped change the lives of the villagers on the island. Without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. Thank you.”
As Bula Batiki is a non-profit organisation, all the money that is made from the exporting and selling of coconut oil goes back into the island. The island also owns the Bula Batiki Association, which is the Fijian side of the business and is 100% community owned. Bula Batiki aims to reinvest into the following areas:
- Education – providing scholarship opportunities
- Sports – Bula Batiki currently fund the Batiki rugby and netball transport so they can attend tournaments
- Agricultural Development – Funding to provide education and sustainability around organic agriculture and regenerative farming.
The long-term hope is that the business model used for Bula Batiki can be taken across to other remote islands and communities to offer the same opportunities for income that Batiki are seeing. In turn, the villagers will hopefully be able to maintain islands that are self-sufficient, keeping the Fijian islands populated and maintained for the future.
E G Carter & Co Ltd continue to support Bula Batiki in any way possible, helping to achieve the goal of creating a sustainable island.