Seprod eyes set up of full dairy farm operation for the region

Seprod eyes set up of full dairy farm operation for the region

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Producers of Serge Island dairy products, Seprod Limited, said that as the company seeks to expand its operations, the aim is to develop a full dairy farm operation second to no other in the Caribbean.

“As we expand, we expect to have the most modern dairy farms in the Caribbean. That's one of our next major steps as we move forward,” shared Ricard Pandohie, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.

“We have a significant dairy operation in St Thomas and we are investing in a major upgrade in the quality of staff and use of technology. With regards to the rest of the parishes, we will grow by partnering with farmers. The intent is to resuscitate Jamaica's dairy farming.

“We have been working on this national plan for the last three years but progress has been slow, however, we are hopeful that there will be significant breakthrough by the first quarter of 2021, primarily by fixing the food supply,” he said in responding to questions from the Business Observer on Monday.

Chairman of the Seprod, Paul B Scott, in commenting on what he deems a general misunderstanding about the relocation of its dairy factory from St Thomas, said that the move was not to be seen as a complete and total removal of the manufacturing and distribution company from the eastern parish.

“When we closed our factory in St Thomas, we did not reduce our investment there, in fact we are doubling up our investments in St Thomas. We still have 6,000 cows in St Thomas, and they are going to remain there. We have to modernise our dairy techniques and we will be putting a lot more investment in St Thomas, so there may be a misconception about that,” he said while responding to questions from shareholders at the company's 81st annual general meeting held earlier this week.

Pandohie further added that as for the closure of the sugar factory in the parish that was once operated by his company, the property remains in use as sugar cane is still being cultivated and harvested for the feeding of cattle on the dairy farm.

“The intent is to extend this to other farmers, especially small dairy farmers, in an effort to reduce their cost and increase their milk production,” he also said to the Business Observer.

In providing update on the disposal of the sugar factory's assets, he said that discussions are still ongoing with nothing finalised at the moment, further noting that global accounting, assurance and advisory services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has been engaged to handle the disposal.


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