Employees of Carib Brewery

@Caption:CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY: Employees of Carib Brewery look over the cans of sparkling water the company produced to donate to St Vincent.

CARIB Brewery is doing its part to ensure that Vincentians do not go without clean drinking water during the ongoing eruptions of the La Soufriere volcano.

The brewery announced yesterday that it was donating 15,000 cases of lightly carbonated canned water to St Vincent.

The brewery’s supply chain director Akash Ragbir, speaking to the media at the company’s Eastern Main Road compound yesterday afternoon, said when the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves called for an urgent supply of water the company sprang into action.

He said last Tuesday it produced the first batch of canned water, which has already been shipped.

“We ensured the water tested properly, so 5,000 is being shipped on Tuesday to St Vincent and the rest will leave later in the week. This is the first time that Carib Brewery is doing canned water and we feel pleased that the company was able to help the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines during this difficult period.”

Ragbir explained that the water had to be lightly carbonated in order to keep the can sturdy, so that it can be shipped properly.

“It does have a taste like club soda, sparkling water taste, but made with high-quality brewing water used for our beverages. We never bottled water before, but we had all the material in stock, the cans, trays, etc, so the company was able to get it done in a short space of time and it did not cost extra,” Ragbir said.

Several companies have been sending over shipments of relief items to the Vincentians.

One such private sector company is CIBC First Caribbean, which said last Friday a shipment of relief supplies that included over 40 pallets of food, water, cleaning supplies and sanitary items were purchased with funds donated by the bank’s charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean International Trust Foundation.

The foundation’s chair and the bank’s chief executive officer Colette Delaney said the bank shared a “deep concern for the wellbeing and safety of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines as they are confronted with the twin threats of an erupting volcano and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.

She said the eruption in St Vincent and the subsequent ash falls in Barbados and neighbouring islands demonstrated how interconnected the islands of the region are.

Delaney also noted the sense of community demonstrated within the Caribbean in times of disaster, which she observed was borne out in how quickly the Caribbean reached out—within hours of the first eruption—with offers of aid to the people of St Vincent.

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