Guyana Chronicle – “ONLY Coconuts,” a Guyanese-owned business that produces a range of coconut products, will now have its items distributed in Barbados by Armstrong Agencies Ltd., which offers a full import, wholesale, distribution, and marketing service on the island and in other parts of the Caribbean.
Vice-President of Precision Global Inc. (Only Coconuts), Lesley Ramlall, speaking at the Barbados Agro Fest 2023, said that his company has responded to “the government’s appeal for the expansion of the coconut industry.”
“Only Coconuts,” the largest coconut processing facility in South America, according to Ramlall, has the capacity to supply the entire CARICOM region with its various brands of coconut products which includes virgin and refined coconut oil, coconut chips, coconut flour and its soon-to-come coconut milk.
“Currently, we have a distributor here in Barbados through Armstrong Agencies, and that initiative was materialised because of the Agro Fest in 2022 when we launched our product here in Barbados, and Armstrong readily accepted the challenge of marketing our products here in Barbados,” he noted.
Ramlall said that for the year so far, the response has been overwhelming.
He added: “…and so we would like to thank the government for this initiative to give Guyanese businesses the opportunity to showcase our products not only locally, but across the Caribbean.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Armstrong Agencies, Christopher Lambert, said that as one of the major distributors in Barbados, they see it as an opportunity for them to identify a number of products and opportunities that comes out of Guyana.
“Last year Precision Global would have presented their portfolio of ‘Only Coconuts’ and we are very impressed by the presentation that they did. We were also very impressed by the reception of the Barbados public,” he said.
CEO Lambert continued: “So for us, we definitely saw it as an opportunity for us to partner with them and a year later, we represent the brand here in Barbados, and we see it really as an opportunity for us to expand on the partnership between us and Guyana.”
Meanwhile, Chief Investment Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, said that Agro Fest has done great for Guyana from 2022 to 2023. He noted that it brings together folks in the furniture industry, cosmetic industry, pepper sauce products, and many others.
“I look forward to working with all of the exporters here to ensure that they continue to develop their products in Guyana… this is just a testament of the initiative by Guyana producers to ensure their products meet international standards and be able to distribute it and sell it,” he said.
Ramsaroop related that last year, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, while at the Agro Fest, challenged the producers in all categories to ensure their packaging is up to international standards and to work within the region to put their products on the shelf.
“Barbados does have a small coconut industry. They have a very strong manufacturing in terms of packaging components and the producer is working to look and see how he can get these materials from Barbados… so, it’s not a one-off, it’s an integration of how maybe ultimately it could be made into a Caribbean product where you know the coconuts and the packaging is in Guyana, but the materials are from Barbados,” Ramsaroop explained.
He added that the distributor is a regional company and that it is exciting that they can come together to work closer.