JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging greater private-sector investment in the economy.
  • He noted that the Government is creating the environment to facilitate business through stable, predictable, certain macroeconomic fiscal and monetary policies, which can spur continued growth.
  • “We are supporting the private sector by ensuring that our microeconomic policies work… making sure that our labour force is work-ready… [and] improving ease of doing business,” he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging greater private-sector investment in the economy.

He noted that the Government is creating the environment to facilitate business through stable, predictable, certain macroeconomic fiscal and monetary policies, which can spur continued growth.

“We are supporting the private sector by ensuring that our microeconomic policies work… making sure that our labour force is work-ready… [and] improving ease of doing business,” he said.

“All of these (measures) plus our investments in infrastructure to make sure that you can get your goods quickly from factory to port for export; all that we are doing with improving the efficiency of our ports by divesting to operators who understand the port business and can make it more efficient – all of those microeconomic activities help with the growth,” Mr. Holness said further.

He noted that the Jamaican economic model is now “coming together”, with the economy recording consistent growth over the last 16 quarters, “which says that the changes in the economy are taking root”.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the official launch of Serge Island Dairies new processing plant at Bog Walk in St. Catherine on Tuesday (May 28).

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (fourth left), listens as Chairman, Seprod, Paul B. Scott (left), explains the labelling process for the Supligen brand drink. Mr. Holness was on a tour of the newly launched consolidated Serge Island Dairies plant in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, following its official launch on Tuesday (May 28). Also pictured (at fifth left), is Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw.

The new facility, which consolidates the company’s processing operations in Seaforth, St. Thomas, represents a total investment of $7 billion.

The Prime Minister hailed the investment by Seprod and its parent company Musson, as a signal of confidence in the economic policies of the country.

“It is not a small feat to place that level of capital at risk…you have taken a big risk,” he said.

“I am very happy for the vote of confidence that is being made now by our investing community… . That confidence continues to be recorded statistically every quarter. The confidence index in Jamaica – both consumer and producer confidence –continues to be high and is, in fact, rising,” he added.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister praised Seprod for continuing “to grow from strength to strength” as the largest dairy manufacturer, largest processor of fresh milk, and the largest co-manufacturer of juice and flavoured milk in the English-speaking Caribbean

He said he was pleased that the company, which sells its products in 23 markets worldwide, will now be manufacturing products for Nestlé using local milk.

“That is telling me that we are going to be creating, over the next decade, significant value and capacity in a local industry that is going to signal a higher rate of growth,” he said

The Bog Walk plant, which was formerly owned by Nestlé, will fulfil a significant portion of CARICOM demand in the condensed, evaporated and flavoured milks and juice categories, leading to increased exports and co-manufacturing services.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), discusses the Betty brand of sweetened condensed milk with Member of Parliament for St. Catherine North Central, Natalie Neita; and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw. Mr. Holness was on a tour of the newly launched consolidated Serge Island Dairies plant in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, following its official launch on Tuesday (May 28).

In March, Seprod signed a deal with Nestlé Jamaica Limited, Nestlé Trinidad and Nestlé Caribbean Incorporated, which will see Seprod producing two milk products locally – Nestlé Full Cream Condensed Milk and Nestlé Green Butterfly Condensed Milk for local and regional distribution.

The plant, which previously employed 100 persons, now has 300 employees.