A new Tetra Pak production facility, which was developed at a cost of $1.25 billion by Trade Winds Citrus Limited (TWCL) in St. Catherine, was officially opened on May 30 by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
TWCL is the manufacturer and distributor of a number of beverages and other products, including Tru Juice, Freshhh, Wakefield, Tru Tea, Squeezz and Calico Jack Rum Punch.
In his address at the Bog Walk facility, Mr. Holness assured business interests that the Administration has already begun the process of creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to take greater calculated risks.
Mr. Holness said the risks that will be taken and those already taken by entrepreneurs will redound to their interest.
“I am certain that TWCL will be rewarded in pocket, in your balance sheet, and in the growth of assets, because of this investment,” he said.
The Prime Minister argued that the rewards accrued from taking the risks must trickle down to employees, “whose jobs would be far more secure”.
Furthermore, he suggested that where possible, employees’ incomes must also reflect these rewards.
“If we can get more companies to do this, if this can be replicated across Jamaica, then that is growth and that is prosperity,” he said.
Mr. Holness indicated that, so far, he has been encouraged by entrepreneurs who have been taking risks, emphasising that growth in Jamaica is a partnership, and his role requires making it easier for entrepreneurs to invest and to project the future.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister noted that his effort to synergise agriculture with industry and commerce, as is evident by TWCL, is an example of the Government’s vision on agro-processing.
Mr. Holness informed that in the coming months, more of his time will be devoted to deepening the connectedness of agriculture to industry and commerce, to accelerate the pace of economic growth.
In an interview with JIS News, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, shared similar sentiments to the Prime Minister on his vision for agriculture.
“Having raw materials coming from the farmer, going straight to processing, and from there either to hotels or the export market, will definitely benefit the farmers,” he said, while urging more companies to adopt a similar process.
For his part, Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association President, Metry Seaga, lauded TWCL for continuing to respond to the growing needs of consumers, and expressed elation at the association’s partnership with TWCL.
Managing Director of TWCL, Peter McConnell, said the new production facility will allow for the manufacture of juices using Tetra Pak’s ultra-high temperature technology.
This will offer to consumers a “cupboard friendly” (non-refrigerated) product with a longer shelf life than the brand’s traditional chilled juices.
“This investment demonstrates our confidence in the Jamaican economy. It will not only grow our economy but motivate others to invest in manufacturing of other food and beverage, as we strive towards our own food security,” he said.
The Prime Minister was led on a tour of the new facility, where he observed the packaging of the Tetra Pak juices.
Article by: Chad Bryan
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm