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TAMPA, Florida – September was a month of unrelenting storms with Hurricanes Irma and Maria ripping through the Caribbean, leaving an unprecedented amount of damage in Barbuda, St Martin/Maarten, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, the British and US Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, and Puerto Rico.
Infrastructure has been devastated, lives have been disrupted, and the full extent of the fiscal damage is still being tallied. Yet through this heart-wrenching devastation, the resilience and unity of the Caribbean people has been truly inspiring.
Immediately after the storms passed, Stansfeld Scott reached out to their distribution partners from each of the affected islands and determined that all employees were safe but many had experienced some degree of personal loss especially regarding their homes.
Some of the businesses suffered extensive damage but were assessing the situation and re-establishing operations despite the dire circumstances. Based on feedback received from the affected countries, it was determined that beyond food and beverage, building supplies were most needed.
On September 22, 2017, Stansfeld Scott launched their Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund, pledging containers filled with building and emergency supplies to be sent to a few of the most severely impacted islands.
“For Stansfeld Scott, many of these people are not nameless. They are our friends and colleagues who work with our brands daily,” noted Brian Cabral, president/CEO of Stansfeld Scott.
“We wanted to assist them, their families and communities with essential building supplies to ease their transition to normalcy.”
With the support and generosity of almost all Stansfeld Scott suppliers along with key logistics partners, the fund has surpassed the initial goal (US$125) and has reached US$150 000. Procurement of some items in short supply has delayed filling the containers, but the first of six 20-foot containers of building supplies is scheduled to ship mid-November.
Distribution of supplies is being coordinated through local trading partners. It has been a truly collaborative and fulfilling initiative for the Stansfeld Scott team. The storms have passed and most of the debris has been cleared, but the arduous task of rebuilding is ongoing.
Direct communication, understanding of the local situation and cooperation is paramount. Stansfeld Scott understands these fundamentals and will continue to work with their distributors on their road to recovery as their Caribbean partners rebuild not only their islands but also their lives.
Stansfeld Scott expresses their deep appreciation to their trading partners who supported the initiative, including Accolade Wines of Australia and the UK, Grupo Claro and Veramonte of Chile, Bardinet, Gabriel Meffre & Patriarche of France, Bosca and Santa Margherita of Italy SPI Spirits of Latvia, Babich Wines of New Zealand, William Grant of Scotland, Distell of South Africa, Casamigos, Constellation Wines, Premium Ports and Sazerac of the USA and Principle Healthcare of the UK. Transportation of the containers will be provided by JF Hillebrand and TGD Consolidators. D & M Construction of Barbados also volunteered a generous donation. (PR)