Business

Seprod seeks growth — wants to expanddistribution, marketing and production

Majority of flour production for export market

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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Food and manufacturing conglomerate, Seprod Ltd, is aggressively looking to acquire or build out a distribution company in efforts to greater diversify its business model.

Chief Executive Officer of Seprod, Richard Pandohie, told the Jamaica Observer that the company is now in the evaluation stage and has put together a proposal to present to the board of directors by October.

The company hopes to make a decision on whether to acquire an international or local distribution entity or to build out a facility before the year ends.

Outside of distribution, the company anticipates not only manufacturing its own brands but doing private label manufacturing for third parties.

Seprod's plan to further develop its distribution and marketing comes on the heels of a multimillion-dollar partnership formed between the food manufacturer and American shipping and trading company, Seaboard.

The partnership will see Seprod's subsidiary, Jamaica Grain & Cereals Ltd, producing wheat flour and cornmeal for the local and regional markets.

Jamaica Grain has manufactured cornmeal for nearly half a century before coming under strong competition from market players in Belize. However, Seprod will be the second flour mill to operate in Jamaica behind Jamaica Flour Mills Ltd (JFM), which is owned by American company ADM Milling.

The factory is expected to be fully operational by October.

Pandohie reasoned that there is sufficient market space for the newcomer not to end up in a “dog-eat-dog” fight with the JFM, since the majority of its production will be done to fill demand in the export markets.

Chairman of the group, P B Scott, is adamant that Seprod's focus on the distribution aspect of its business is strategically aligned with increasing revenue numbers for the current and upcoming brands of the company.

“In having great brands it's important to have great distribution; it's very important for us in the future to be able to work effectively ensuring that our product gets on the shelves in the most competitive way and looks great not just in Jamaica but throughout all the markets in which we operate in,” Scott told shareholders during Seprod's 78th Annual General Meeting on Monday at the Jamaica Pegasus.

He added that while Seprod has essentially been a manufacturing company, it is developing into a marketing organisation that manufactures and distributes products and will make investments to improve in both areas.

Since 2014, Seprod has invested more than $5 billion on its operations.

The Group of Companies includes Serge Island Farms Ltd, Serge Island Dairies Ltd, International Biscuits Ltd, Caribbean Products Ltd, Musson International Dairies Ltd, Industrial Sales Ltd, Jamaica Grains and Cereals Ltd and Golden Grove Sugar Company.


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