Clarke: Give local producers a chance
Give local suppliers a chance, businessman Trevor Clarke has pleaded.
He has added his voice to the call for foreign companies operating here to use more locally manufactured products.
Clarke, owner of Winifred Trophies, said he believed local manufacturers of furniture and clothing were in a position to more than furnish organizations with adequate supplies.
He suggested local producers be given the opportunity to supply the hotel sector, medical fraternity and schools.
“There are a lot of bed sheets, pillow cases, school supplies, shoes; these are items that we make better than anyone in the world. We can make them locally and save foreign exchange and create work. What is clear to us is that the bad-mouthing of the Barbados industry saying we can’t manage is untrue,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“We do know that many schools in Barbados bring in garments from overseas and when they get here, the wrong colour, the logo bad but they can’t send them back because they [came from] too far; from Guatemala, America all over the world. However, when they buy local they can be compensated immediately if needs be. And when you buy local the foreign exchange saving is substantial,” added Clarke.
The long-time businessman also pointed out that a number of furniture stores were guilty of importing most of their products, saying some were only selling “between two to five per cent” Barbadian-made furniture.
“We are asking that these companies either buy locally or close down because they came here to sell local furniture but since they don’t do that now they must leave,” he charged.
Clarke also dismissed claims that the quality of locally made items were not of high standards, saying “that is untrue”. (MM)