LOCAL paper products manufacturer, John Dickinson & Co (WI) Ltd, has recently made significant investment towards the expansion and diversification of their operations.
The company is a stalwart in the local manufacture sector of tissue, school and office stationery, the Ministry of Trade said in a news release.
Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, on Friday last toured the expansion of the John Dickinson tissue operations and its newly established related entity Guiltless Gourmet Ltd at the Diamond Vale Industrial Estate, Diego Martin.
Gopee-Scoon was hosted by John Dickinson chairman, George Haloute, managing director, Dominic Haloute, and director Christian Haloute
In the news release, the Ministry of Trade said despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, John Dickinson took the decision to continue expansion efforts through investment in state-of-the-art equipment to support the growth of its export capacity to regional and international markets.
In 2020, the company acquired over 4.5 acres of derelict eTecK lands and buildings on the Diamond Vale Industrial Estate and has made investment to operationalise the site.
The company has rejuvenated three of the four buildings to date and has significantly invested in the tissue plant and machinery expansion.
In the last quarter of 2020, John Dickinson’s fully automated tissue converting machinery became operational, which increased output capacity by over 150 per cent. The excess capacity is currently being used to pursue regional and extra-regional exports to new markets inclusive of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Central America and the US, building on the market presence of the Snuggle Brand of tissue.
The Ministry of Trade said the investment positions the company to build on the established regional success of the tissue brand Snuggle.
Minister Gopee-Scoon commended the company on the quality of the facility and their advanced technology, noting that this type of investment is necessary to ensure that John Dickinson & Co will produce goods of a standard and quality, that will have a competitive advantage in the international market.
Additionally, the company diversified its portfolio to include a commercially scaled yogurt manufacturing facility, Guiltless Gourmet Ltd. That came out of a successful yogurt start-up that previously operated in a cottage type facility.
Guiltless Gourmet occupies one of the four aforementioned rejuvenated buildings at the estate in Diego Martin. The Guiltless Yogurt subsidiary currently supplies the local market and has the capacity to supply export markets.
Since its introduction to the local market, the Guiltless Yogurt brand has been met with favourable response from consumers who desire a fresh, locally produced alternative to imported products and which incorporates local flavours, said the ministry. The company intends to fully utilise available local content in their production.
Gopee-Scoon, an advocate of family business, congratulated the Haloute family on their entrepreneurial vision, business expansion and pivot to the food and beverage sub-sector, particularly during the pandemic.
“This is the type of innovation, expansion and diversification we need from our manufacturers that will certainly contribute to enhancing the country’s economic growth and stability,” said Gopee-Scoon.