The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

God­dard En­ter­prises Limited (GEL) of Bar­ba­dos and Agos­tini’s Limited (AL) of Trinidad are pleased to an­nounce that they have agreed to the for­ma­tion of a joint­ly­owned com­pany, Caribbean Dis­tri­bu­tion Part­ners Limited (CDPL) which will be fo­cused on the Fast Mov­ing Con­sumer Goods (FMCG) sec­tor. Both GEL and AL will trans­fer into CDPL all of the com­pa­nies in their re­spec­tive groups in the FMCG sec­tor, in the coun­tries noted be­low, with ef­fect from July 1, 2015.

The com­pa­nies to be trans­ferred into CDPL are, from the God­dard Com­pa­nies: Han­schell In­niss Limited in Bar­ba­dos, Peter and Com­pany Limited and Bry­den and Part­ners Limited in Saint Lu­cia, Coreas Dis­tri­bu­tion Limited in St. Vin­cent, and In­de­pen­dence Agen­cies Limited in Gre­nada and from the Agos­tini Com­pa­nies: Hand Arnold Trinidad Limited in Trinidad, Facey Trad­ing Limited in Bar­ba­dos, and Desinco Limited in Guyana.

CDPL will be 50/50 owned by the two groups and, based on an in­de­pen­dent val­u­a­tion by KPMG, AL will be re­quired to pay GEL an undis­closed amount in or­der to ac­quire its 50% own­er­ship. The CDPL com­pa­nies will con­tinue to op­er­ate in six re­gional mar­kets with 2015 rev­enues of ap­prox­i­mately US$230 mil­lion.

Both groups have a long and suc­cess­ful his­tory in the FMCG dis­tri­bu­tion sec­tor and see the for­ma­tion of this joint ven­ture as an op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther im­prove the prod­ucts and ser­vice to their cus­tomers, and to ex­tend their dis­tri­bu­tion reach and mar­ket­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties for their prin­ci­pals and pro­pri­etary brands.

“This ex­cit­ing joint ven­ture will ex­pand GEL’s dis­tri­bu­tion into new im­por­tant mar­kets, Trinidad and Guyana in par­tic­u­lar, im­prov­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of the prod­ucts that both part­ners ei­ther man­u­fac­ture or dis­trib­ute”, said An­thony Ali, CEO of GEL.

“We at AL are very ex­cited about this joint ven­ture be­cause it will al­low us to fur­ther ex­pand our hori­zons in the re­gion, bring new prod­ucts to our con­sumers and al­low us to rapidly ex­tend the dis­tri­bu­tion of our own brands,” stated CEO of AL, An­thony Agos­tini.

The rest of GEL re­mains un­af­fected as CDPL will be tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the day-to-day run­ning of the FMCG sec­tor on the tran­si­tion date. “All em­ployee terms and con­di­tions will re­main the same when we tran­si­tion our staff to this new com­pany and, at this stage, we do not ex­pect any ma­jor dis­lo­ca­tion or changes to our em­ployee com­ple­ment”, ex­plained An­thony Ali, CEO of GEL. “In fact, our em­ploy­ees will now be part of an even big­ger en­tity and will be open to more op­por­tu­ni­ties for per­sonal growth and devel­op­ment within the newly formed com­pany”, he added.

GEL is a 94-year-old pub­licly traded con­glom­er­ate based in Bar­ba­dos and AL is an 89-year-old Trinidad & Tobago pub­licly traded group in the dis­tri­bu­tion and ser­vices sec­tor.

With the goal of achiev­ing an en­vi­ron­ment free of vec­tor-borne dis­eases such as dengue fever, chikun­gunya and lep­tospiro­sis, the Min­istry of Health, Well­ness, Hu­man Ser­vices and Gen­der Re­la­tions has be­gun its vec­tor aware­ness cam­paign 2015 fol­low­ing the suc­cess of its 2014 cam­paign. This was dis­closed at a press con­fer­ence held by the Min­istry of Health on Thurs­day to sen­si­tize the public via the me­dia of ef­fec­tive vec­tor man­age­ment strate­gies with fo­cus on vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties and pop­u­la­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry, an in­te­grated ap­proach will take place this year with the in­cor­po­ra­tion of busi­ness houses and stake­hold­ers who are in­vited to both pro­mote and be a prac­ti­tioner of be­hav­iours con­ducive to achiev­ing an en­vi­ron­ment free of vec­tors. “We are bring­ing in dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers on board to work with us in achiev­ing the goal. We don’t want it to re­main gov­ern­ment only; we want every­body to en­gage in this fight. At the end of the day it af­fects all of us. It’s not my prob­lem, it’s not the gov­ern­ment’s prob­lem, it is the coun­try’s is­sue. We all need to fo­cus and con­trib­ute whichever way we can,” says Emer­son Vi­talis of the Min­istry of Health.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry, the im­pact vec­tor-borne dis­eases have is huge, af­fect­ing health, qual­ity of life and caus­ing eco­nomic loss for per­sons and in­dus­try, which are ar­eas of con­cern.

Work­places have been rec­og­nized as one of the pri­or­ity set­tings for in­te­grated vec­tor man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­ter­ven­tions at the work­place will take place to sup­port ef­forts in im­prov­ing the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, well-be­ing of the work­force and, by ex­ten­sion, the com­mu­nity. Or­ga­ni­za­tions will re­ceive vec­tor as­sess­ments via en­to­mo­log­i­cal sur­veil­lance. Man­age­ment and staff will also re­ceive train­ing. Work­place in­ter­ven­tions will take place June 8-19.

Re­duc­ing the mos­quito pop­u­la­tion in com­mu­ni­ties, re­mov­ing po­ten­tial breed­ing ar­eas for vec­tors, ed­u­cat­ing com­mu­ni­ties on mos­quito and ro­dent con­trol mea­sures and sen­si­tiz­ing and em­pow­er­ing busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tions on vec­tor man­age­ment are the Min­istry’s ob­jec­tive.

Ob­ser­va­tion of vec­tor aware­ness will be from June 22-26 fol­lowed by the im­ple­men­ta­tion of com­mu­nity in­ter­ven­tions in July through to Septem­ber which will in­clude health ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions, com­mu­nity mo­bi­liza­tion cleanups, com­mu­nity mod­i­fi­ca­tion, im­prove­ment of wa­ter stor­age con­tain­ers, solid waste man­age­ment, ed­u­ca­tion on the con­trol of vec­tors and com­pe­ti­tions.

Through­out the pro­gramme there will be pe­ri­odic eval­u­a­tion of the in­ter­ven­tions.

Health Of­fi­cer Emer­son Vi­talis with Glenda Eti­en­neCepal, Vec­tor Con­trol Manager at a news con­fer­ence.

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