Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the latest investment of $350 million by SEPROD Limited, will serve to enhance the performance of the local manufacturing industry and further boost the country’s economic development.
“I welcome (this) investment…as it serves as a testament of local investment to facilitate economic growth,” the Minister said.
Mr. Hylton was addressing a ceremony held yesterday (June 11) at Serge Island Dairies Limited in St. Thomas, to unveil the company’s new equipment, for which the investment was made.
He said the Government is working to encourage more investments and remains committed to the development of the private sector, a strategic imperative to improve the business climate, facilitate investment opportunities that will create jobs for Jamaicans and increase growth prospects within the economy at large.
The Minister noted that SEPROD’s investment is therefore timely, as much has been implemented by the Government to ensure that local companies can get the most from their investments.
Following the ceremony, the Minister was led on a tour of Serge Island’s plant, where he officially commissioned the TetraPak Compact Flex Filling Machine into service .
He said that the investment, which is the first of its kind in Jamaica and the Caribbean, will increase the manufacturing capacity of Serge Island Dairy Farm by 45 per cent to allow the company to meet increased demand for milk and other beverages.
“It will also allow for increased employment as the machine will facilitate expansion of the plant from two shifts to three shifts over the 24-hour work cycle, seven days a week right here in Seaforth,” Mr. Hylton added.
The Minister further noted that this investment will also benefit small farmers as it will enable them to supply more milk for processing and packaging to fulfil the expanded manufacturing capacity of Serge Island Dairy Farm.
He praised Seprod for consistently proving itself throughout its 75 years of existence “as an industry leader that is nimble and adaptable to the changing needs of the local and international markets.”
In the meantime, State Minister for Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Luther Buchanan, also lauded Seprod for its significant contribution to the performance of the manufacturing industry, especially the agricultural sector, over the years.
“We are pleased that Seprod has been investing in the modernization and redevelopment of the dairy industry. This fits right into the Ministry’s Dairy Development Programme being implemented by the Dairy Development Board,” he said.
The largest dairy producer in Jamaica, Serge Island Dairies Limited is a member of the SEPROD Group of Companies, employing 130 persons, mainly from St. Thomas.
SEPROD offers a range of products for the retail, wholesale and food service industry. The company manufactures and distributes edible oils and fats; dairy and fruit beverages; corn products; baked snacks; as well as other household consumer products.
The company’s gross revenue for 2014 was $14.77 billion. It has an operating profit of $1.45 billion, and a total asset base of $14.04 billion. SEPROD employs 1,800 Jamaicans overall.
The latest investment is part of the SEPROD’s plans, over the next two years, to invest over $5 billion in new technologies, staff training and strategic partnerships to drive growth, increase exports and engage in import substitution.
Link to article: http://jis.gov.jm/industry-minister-commends-seprod-350-million-investment/