Castries, Saint Lucia (August 25, 2016): Massy Stores (formerly CFL), held its Annual Registered Farmers’ Meeting on Wednesday August 24th, 2016 at the Union Orchid Gardens Conference Room under the theme “Massy Stores, committed to working with the farming community”.
As the largest purchaser of agricultural goods including produce, livestock, poultry and value added products, the company reaffirmed its commitment to the agricultural sector to the 100 strong farmers, government officials and stakeholders in attendance.
According to Guest Speaker and Director on the Board of Massy Stores Mr Gordon Charles, ‘As CFL then, and now as Massy Stores, over the past few decades, the company has taken further strides in an effort to strengthen the relationship with its dedicated partners, and as it continues to enhance its partnership under our newly rebranded name, it will continue to support our Massy Stores Farmers! As you all know, the agricultural sector is perhaps one of the most valued by Massy Stores and is in fact among the more critical for the island, so naturally we are proud to add value to its development anew!’
Showing his support for the programme he spearheads, Dunstan Demille Perishables Manager at Massy Stores added,’ the relationship with the Massy Stores Farmers goes far beyond a regular buyer and seller one and promotes best practice in farming with the development of the Roots and tubers Plus Programme which is supported by Ministry of Agriculture and the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI) and with the Potato Programme in partnership with Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) a sustainable economic growth project which aims to increase the value of Caribbean fresh produce accessing high-value markets (HVMs) in the Caribbean and internationally.’
Divisional Head of Purchasing Perishables Ms Troy Valcin lauded the success of the programme over these years and further promoted the other related activities which the company has undertaken to support the agricultural sector as the local farmers continue to feed the nation.
According to Ms Valcin, ’ I am especially excited about the many programmes which we partner on including the Helping Out Our Primary and Secondary Schools (HOOPSS) programme developed by St. Lucia Agriculture Forum for Youth (SLAFY) in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to get the youth more interested in the agricultural sector from the primary and secondary school level.’
Excited farmers were able to express their gratitude to Massy Stores for support through the years for initiatives like the Farmers Loans Programme which has assisted many farms modernize their operations throughout the years. Despite the successes, they voiced grievous concerns in the sector as it relates to praedial larceny and called upon more support from the Praedial Larceny Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture and the public at large to end such a crime which is destroying their individual businesses.
Partners included Renwick & Co., CARDI, Carasco & Sons, PROPEL, WUSC Caribbean, IICA, Cecil Sylvester Designs and the Ministry of Agriculture which were all present to celebrate with the Massy Stores Farmers. Represented by the Permanent Secretary Dr. Gabriel, the Ministry of Agriculture was pleased to engage the farmers in this forum and pledge continued support to help grow the industry.
For more information about the Farmers Programme, contact Dunstan Demille on [email protected]