Teenage

Jamaica Producers Group Limited

Shantayaé Grant

Tuesday, September 04, 2012    

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In the 1920s, Sir Arthur Farquharson, Charles E Johnston and Captain SD List were all driven by the idea to build a local company that would compete successfully with the large foreign-owned fruit companies for the shipping and marketing of Jamaican bananas.

On April 1, 1929, Jamaica Producers Group, which was then known as the Jamaica Banana Producers Association (JBPA) Limited, was finally formed. It was the offspring of Jamaica Producers Association formed in 1925, under which separate co-operatives were erected.

It boasts the title of a wholly Jamaican-owned company, which had an initial membership of 6,145.

Initially, with nothing but the promise of success, the three men took their business idea to the Pringle Family, a wealthy family who owned a large acreage in banana production, and received support through the contraction of the Pringle's fruits to the JBPA. Although this was vital to the continuity of the company, the young company ran into trouble and almost buckled under the pressure.

On July 18, 1935, a public meeting was summoned in which a resolution was passed that the JBPA should be maintained, considering that the banana industry was one upon which the prosperity of Jamaica depended.

As if enough obstacles did not present themselves, in the late 1980's, the line of ships responsible for carrying Jamaican exports ceased to do so and JBPA was once again, placed in a tight spot.

In an effort to dig themself out, majority of the shares of the non-operational line were purchased by Jamaica Producers, and a new company, the Jamaica Producers Shipping Company (JPSC) was formed. Today, JPSC is the only Jamaican-owned shipping line operating in Jamaica.

In 1992, staying true to their programme of diversification since the 1970s, the company's name was fittingly changed to Jamaica Producers Group (JPG) Limited. This was considered one of the best decisions made as the new name painted a more adequate picture of what the company stood for. The name reflected its new focus on a wide range of fresh products, rather than primarily the banana market.

Over the years, JPG has purchased many businesses, of which include RAM Shipping, a freight forwarding business between the UK and the Caribbean in 2006, Hoogesteger Fresh Specialist BV, Holland's leading fresh juice and smoothie manufacturer in 2008 and Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, home of JABLUM Coffee, in 2011.

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