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Manufacturers’ plea for more money


Manufacturers’ plea for more money

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FORMER PRESIDENT of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association, Peter Miller, is calling for more financial assistance for producers who export.

This, he said, was because financing was required so manufacturers could have increased marketing, which was one of the major planks of any operation.

“My position with Government is, and I don’t care which party is in [office], when the sugar industry is facing challenges, and particularly the plantations, they got tremendous financial assistance. They mortgaged the plantation and even gave them back to the owners,” he said.

“When the tourism and hotel industry have challenges they get all kinds of concessions and assistance. I’m not saying that manufacturing doesn’t get concessions but we don’t get any real tangible assistance. Why don’t we at least get money for marketing? It’s an expensive thing if you’re going to do it well. I think that kind of attention has to be paid now to manufacturing,” said the general manager of Windmill Industries Limited.

He told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that despite what people said, manufacturing was alive in Barbados.

“Some people, the political class, would like to tell you that manufacturing is dead but it’s one of the few home grown things we have and we can control. Tourism is really what keeps us growing, its true, but it can be very fickle. You only have to have a major incident take place in Barbados now and God help us,” Miller stated.

He said agriculture and manufacturing “are two areas that need more attention” and “real money put behind them, not stipends and pittances”. Miller added that those manufacturers who export could “earn foreign exchange just like everybody else”.

Europe and the gulf states in the United States, he noted, were potential markets for pepper sauces and other condiments.

What he also noted was that hoteliers did buy local products and in the past his 49-year-old company supplied hotels with several products.

“This is another market that we need to really focus on. And it’s not just the hotels, you’ve got restaurants and food vendors. We eat a lot of chicken and people wash their chicken in vinegar. We can do vinegar, tomato ketchup. We [Windmill] diversified and made what we call a hot ketchup, ketchup with pepper and we’re the only people who do it.” (Green Bananas Media)