Jamaica to Resume Red Stripe Production for North American Market

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips (2nd right); Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton (2nd left); and Managing Director, Red Stripe, Ricardo Nuncio (left), listen to Chairman, Red Stripe, Richard Byles. Occasion was a press conference at Red Stripe’s Spanish Town Road headquarters on Wednesday (Feb. 17), to announce the resumption of production of beer in Jamaica for export to the United States.

Story Highlights

  • Desnoes and Geddes (D&G) Limited today (February 17) announced that it will resume production of Red Stripe from Jamaica for export to the North American market in September.
  • The move is expected to create an additional 300 direct jobs, while 3,000 persons stand to gain employment through spin-off industries by 2017.
  • Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said bringing back the production of North American volumes to Jamaica underscores the fact that manufacturing is alive and well in the island.

Desnoes and Geddes (D&G) Limited today (February 17) announced that it will resume production of Red Stripe from Jamaica for export to the North American market in September.

The move is expected to create an additional 300 direct jobs, while 3,000 persons stand to gain employment through spin-off industries by 2017.

Speaking at a function held at Red Stripe’s Spanish Town Road headquarters, Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, hailed the development as a boost for Jamaica, and is a result of improvements in the business and economic environments.

“This is such a wonderful project representing a vote of confidence in Jamaica and its possibilities. There are so many elements that have gone into making this project possible. It is testament, first of all, to the first-class work habits and talents of the Jamaican workers that are here at Red Stripe, that we can capture the market globally,” the Minister said.

He said it is also an indication of an extent to which Jamaica, over the past three years, has become a more competitive economic environment in which to operate.

“Don’t forget, three years ago, they took the decision to move it, now they are taking the decision to return that productive activity here to Jamaica and I think that this indicates that as a country, we are on the right track as far as the economic reform measures that are being undertaken,” he noted.

Dr. Phillips said that among the elements that have contributed to the development are the tax reform arrangements, particularly the removal of duties from inputs into the production process; and the elimination of red tape, which has led to Jamaica being named by Forbes as the ‘Best Place to Do Business in the Caribbean’ and moving up 16 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.

He noted too that interest rates are “at a historic low in Jamaica now,” pointing out that new loans for small, medium and large businesses are now in single digits.

“We aim to bring them down further. That has been the consequence of the control of inflation; removing Government’s appetite to borrow, and removing and reducing the Government’s debt,” he pointed out.

Minister Phillips noted that the use of locally grown cassava in the production of beer will put more farmers into the fields and boost the agricultural sector. “Because of the substitution of cassava-based carbohydrates for imported carbohydrates, it is going to be even more Jamaican than it was before,” he said.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said bringing back the production of North American volumes to Jamaica underscores the fact that manufacturing is alive and well in the island.

“This repatriation process under Heineken’s ownership presents opportunities for linking the small agro-enterprises to an export-oriented enterprise and facilitates the integration of domestic agriculture into domestic manufacturing (value-added) activities,” he said.

Managing Director, Red Stripe, Ricardo Nuncio, informed that over the past five years, over $5 billion has been invested to expand capacity and improve efficiencies of the company, while ensuring that it delivers a competitive and consistently high quality product.

Production of Red Stripe for the North American market was moved to City Brewing in Pennsylvania in 2012.

Red Stripe is one of Jamaica’s leading corporate entities employing close to 300 employees and producing the world famous Red Stripe™ beer.

Red Stripe was first brewed in Jamaica in 1928 and has earned the distinction of having some 11 Monde Selection Gold Medals to its credit among numerous other awards. It is also brewed in the United Kingdom under licence, and is available in over 25 markets around the world.

Red Stripe is the trading name of Desnoes and Geddes Limited in which Heineken holds the majority shares.

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