THE manufacturing industry’s leading advocacy group, the Saint Lucia Manufacturer’s Association, hosted their annual general meeting marking their 16th year of service to the development of a dynamic and indigenous manufacturing sector on the island.
Expressing the Government of Saint Lucia’s intention to strengthen the role of advocacy groups like the SMA through the introduction of more sustainable financing mechanisms, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Bradley Felix joined the general assembly in welcoming the newly-elected Executive Board.
Reserving a special moment to revisit key victories of the past year, Immediate Past President Richard Du Boulay of CPJ (St. Lucia) Ltd. and Executive Director Paula James discussed the introduction of the deferred VAT system of importation, a major legislative win for the group and has already been instrumental in decreasing the hurdles of manufacturing in a largely import-based economy like Saint Lucia’s.
The SMA also recently concluded its Quality Awards – an annual event recognizing exemplary initiatives by their members in the areas of: Leadership, Implementation of Standards and Best Practices, Product and Customer Service Quality, Marketing Strategies, Human Resource Development, Social Responsibility and Eco Manufacturing.
Winning members were also specially acknowledged at this week’s AGM with Baron Foods taking home the overall award for excellence and Saint Lucia Linen winning the award for Innovation and Eco-Manufacturing.
Marguerite Desir, newly-elected President, along with her executive members, have committed to working with all manufacturers to ensure continued and improved best practice and delivery of excellent products and services both for the local and international markets.
She further expressed that evidence has shown by way of international accolades, that Saint Lucia’s manufacturers produce world-class products and we need to further develop and promote them globally.
The 2018/2020 Executive members of the SMA (captioned below) have pledged to lead a proactive and member-focused organization in the pursuit of meaningful opportunities for Saint Lucia’s indigenous manufacturing industry.
The full list of new Executive Members is as follows: President – Mrs. Marguerite Desir – Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Ltd; 1st Vice President – Mr. Nicholas Barnard – St. Lucia Linen Services Ltd; 2nd Vice President – Mrs. Margaret Monplaisir – St. Lucia Distillers Ltd; Secretary – Mr. Ronald Ramjattan – Baron Foods St. Lucia Ltd; Treasurer – Mr. Jason King – St. Lucia Distillers Ltd; Assistant Secretary – Mrs. Pauline Gomez – Top Stone Fabrication Ltd and Public Relations Officer – Mr. Christian Wayne – STAR Publishing Co. Ltd.