Pleass : Pleassed to Meet You

Josh RayfieldEd Budds
Josh Rayfield - Head of Projects Ed Budds - Editor

Responsibly sourced and purified to perfection, Pleass is redefining standards in bottled water production. We quench our thirst and get the full story with Joint CEO and Marketing Director, Cate Pleass.

PLEASSED TO MEET YOU

The bottled water industry has become a global juggernaut.  

More than one million bottles of water are sold every minute around the world, and the thriving sector shows no sign of slowing down, with global sales of bottled water expected to nearly double by 2030. 

On a worldwide scale, bottles are the key to safe consumption, and for many economically developing countries, serve as a partial solution when clean drinking water is not readily available. 

As an influential and exciting player within this titanic field, Pleass exists as a dynamic and rapidly expanding publicly-owned company, primarily focused on producing and marketing bottled water under its signature AquaSafe artesian water from Fiji and VaiWai artesian water from Fiji labels, as well as various other client brands. 

The broader group, Pleass Global Limited, was incorporated in 1996 and has been a listed company on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) for 14 years, overseeing segments including bottled water, food service packaging, and property development. 

BOTTLING THE ESSENCE OF FIJI

In the vast bottled water industry, Pleass has risen to a prominent position as the market leader by volume in Fiji with strong market shares across the Pacific and is further exporting its premium artesian waters to the US, Asia, and the Middle East. 

“Our state-of-the-art, hygienic bottling facility, located at the water’s source, caters to both local and international markets. In addition to our water business, Pleass operates a division that sells single-use daily items and manufactures packaging products,” introduces Cate Pleass, Joint CEO and Marketing Director. 

Today, the company also continues to diversify and venture into ecotourism with its inbound tourism park and organic farming facility. 

“At the core of our procedures is a deep-seated dedication to environmental protection and sustainable practices. We certify our land source as organic, ensuring that our sustainable water sources are protected,” adds Cate. 

Since 1997, the company has averaged a 30 percent growth rate, while its sales, production, and distribution teams are continually being strengthened in numbers and undertaking enhanced training programmes. 

Similarly, Pleass takes pride in its comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, which reflect the company’s dedication to making a positive impact on both the environment and the communities it serves. 

In this way, Pleass goes beyond ordinary water companies. As a market leader, the business strives to enhance the quality of hydration, ensuring purity while prioritising the environment from source to bottle.  

“We understand the impact our choices have and that is why we utilise sustainable practices throughout our operations. Disciplined, compliant, and focused, we are a business that strives for excellence in everything we do with the help of 180 great team members who all contribute strongly to the company’s success.” 

“Disciplined, compliant, and focused, we are a business that strives for excellence in everything we do with the help of 180 great team members who all contribute strongly to the company’s success”

Cate Pleass, Joint CEO and Marketing Director, Pleass

PRIDE OF THE PORTFOLIO

Imagine crystal clear water, untouched by impurities, gently filtered for millennia through layers of pristine Fijian rainforest.  

That’s the essence of every sip of Pleass’ AquaSafe and VaiWai natural artesian water bottles. Produced at its source deep beneath the Namosi Mountains, which remains untouched by human activity, the brand brings customers the purest artesian water nature has to offer. 

As such, AquaSafe and VaiWai stand out in the markets for their unique taste and silky texture, originating from an artesian source beneath the lush tropical rainforest of Fiji. Every year, this region receives over four metres of rainfall, which naturally filters the water through the earth before bottling. 

A noticeable difference from other waters is AquaSafe and VaiWai’s relatively low total dissolved solids (TDS) and the unique geology of the aquifer that positively influences its natural flavour.  

“Since its product inception in 1998, AquaSafe has been bottled in 15-litre refillable polycarbonate cooler bottles, which are among the most eco-friendly packaging options available. You can wash, sterilise, and refill these bottles multiple times; however, they are mainly suitable for home and office water coolers due to their size,” Cate sets out. 

“The Australasian Bottled Water Institute (ABWI) has awarded us the highest Bottling Excellence rating, and we hold full Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification. Independent third parties conduct annual audits to maintain these standards” she details. 

DELIVERING NATURE’S REFRESHMENT

Staying hydrated is essential, and with Pleass’ renowned AquaSafe and VaiWai water brands, customers can ensure they’re getting the utmost refreshment with every drink.  

Sourced directly from the springs and bottled using sustainable practices, Pleass delivers nature’s refreshment one crisp, clean bottle at a time. 

“Environmental protection is a core value at Pleass, as we employ state-of-the-art facilities that reduce our environmental footprint. From using recycled materials to executing responsible water management, we strive to leave a positive impact on the planet,” Cate highlights. 

“Our land is certified as 100 percent organic, which means we are doing our part for the environment by focusing on sustainable farming practices, soil health, land regeneration, and biodiversity protection around the primary source of AquaSafe and VaiWai to give our customers the most responsibly sourced water in the world,” she excites. 

Furthermore, Pleass has embarked on a monitoring programme in collaboration with ABWI to measure its environmental gains and impacts.  

This project will reveal what actions the company may need to take to effect changes and will hopefully uphold what Pleass already believes is a highly sustainable operation. 

Its manufacturing plant is situated in the lush tropical rainforests of Namosi, Fiji, where the company owns a land holding of 420 acres and cares for the property with organic certification in the catchment areas.  

Its aquifers are deep underground, and by keeping the land above pristine and free of contaminants, Pleass further assures the quality of its artesian water.  

“We have filtration and UV treatment systems to ensure every bottle reaches the consumer in perfect condition. Our manufacturing plant is seven years old and was constructed under green technology regulations, ensuring that it uses the lowest possible amount of energy, utilising extremely high ceilings and flow-through ventilation to maintain a comfortable temperature even in the hottest months.”  

Well equipped for continued prosperity, the impressive facility also includes a large warehouse, quality laboratory, engineering workshop, and all the typical head office functions including finance, HR, sales, customer service, IT, projects, procurement, and management departments. 

Future facing, with a world-class facility in place, Pleass’ strategic plan is to progress and continue with its anticipated growth, entering new markets, launching new products, and operating ethically and authentically in line with the company’s key values.

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By Josh Rayfield Head of Projects
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Josh Rayfield is Head of Projects for Outlook Publishing. Josh is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Josh is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Josh to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Ed Budds Editor
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Ed Budds is an in-house writer for APAC Outlook Magazine, where he is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.