East Caribbean Group of Companies, ECGC, one of the top exporters in the OECS will invest over $10 million East Caribbean Dollars or 3.7M USD in a new flour mill and other supporting capital projects in 2022 and 2023. Buoyed by optimism that the Caribbean is emerging stronger post pandemic, the Campden Park based company, says this new investment is based on its confidence in the OECS markets and the wider Caribbean.
According to J Robert Cato, CEO at ECGC, an increase in regional demand is expected and imminent. “This new Flour mill investment will increase our flour production capacity by 34%, we see export demand rising as markets recover post-pandemic across the region.” He added, “Our animal feeds business is strong this, grew by 15% in 2021 and we are on track for more growth, I am excited that we are able to create strong value for farmers, bakers, hotels, restaurants and homemakers across the Caribbean, " Cato said.
Brazilian firm, Sangati, will supply the mill flour milling equipment while Turkish based milling equipment and construction specialist firm, Alapala, are in discussions for the supply of the steel structure for the new mill building.
“In 2021, we launched a growth strategy focused on Plant Excellence, Commercial Agility and Profitable Export Expansion. This new mill and the supporting capital investments are in line with that strategy, and we expect the new flour mill to strengthen the innovation capacity of ECGC. We see a clear path for creating exciting baking products and adding significant value to our business. With this investment in technology, we will double the range of offerings we can provide,” Cato disclosed.
The new mill is slated for completion by mid-2023.
ECGC is an export success, with 70% of the company’s sales coming from exports into the Caribbean and international markets, including Canada and the United States. The Company has forged partnerships and consolidated to become the largest private sector venture in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, with a record of major successes.
This year ECGC celebrates 45 years of providing the Caribbean and international markets with the highest quality products. ECGC was founded in 1977 by P. H. Veira, in partnership with Maple Leaf Foods of Canada and the Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The company has since expanded its offerings to include, Animal Feeds, Rice and Beverages including Water, Juices, Sodas and Energy drinks. The main flour brands are Easy Bake Flour, Purity, CariGold, Nelson and its flagship label Cream of the Islands. Ju-C, Village Ram, and Island Sipz are some of the group’s beverage brands.