A good agricultural sector has been praised by economists all over the world as the key to the development and sustainability of any nation’s economy. To put it simpler, the more food a country can grow on its own means the less food it will have to import from others. To top it off, if the quality of production is excellent, this could open doors to increase exports and bring in a considerable amount of revenue to the nation.
CFL Representative with teacher and students of La Guerre Primary
As one of the leading retailers in St. Lucia, this basic economic principle embodies the vision that Consolidated Foods Ltd (operators of Super J, Mega J and gl foodmarket)has laid out for St. Lucians and the local economy on a whole.The CFL Farmers Loans Program was one of many successful attempts by the company to develop the nation’s farming and agri-business sector as a means of strengthening the sector while at the same time helpingto reduce the island’s food import bill. In recent years, the company has been partnering with the St Lucia Agriculture Forum for Youth (SLAFY) in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)and the Ministry of Agriculture to augment the existing agricultural programmes offered at primary and secondary schools with a strong emphasis on making it a more exciting subject of study and career option for young people.
Delegation team – CFL, Ministry of Agriculture and IICA officials at C.A.R.E
HOOPSS, the acronym for “Helping Out our Primary and Secondary Schools” was the direct result of this collaborationand the initiative continues to dig deep into the backyard gardens and greenhouses of schools across the island. Therecent addition ofthe La Guerre Primary, Micoud Secondary and the Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education (CARE), brings the number of schools to the programme to a seventeen (17).
Students at CARE Receiving Agricultural Supplies
“This is one of the many benefits of being a part of HOOPSS,”says Taluah Girard, Marketing & Corporate Communications Officer of CFL, “seeing young people eager to get involved in Agriculture, developing a love for the subject in school and even applying what they’ve learnt back home to their own back yards and the rest of their families.”
The three schools were also the latest recipients of agricultural supplies as part of the fourth phase of the programme. So far,CFL has donated over $175,000towards the project,resulting in the purchase of greenhouses, agricultural tools, resource training for Agricultural Science teachers and the creation of a market by agreeing to purchase surplus produce from schools within the program.
CFL and IICA officials handing over supplies at La Guerre Primary
One of the more practical components of HOOPSS, according to Ms. Girard, is tostrengthen the current feeding programmes at schools across the island. Strong impetus for this development was also provided by CFL earlier this month through the funding of a fifty (50) Unit Poultry Pen at CARE,capable of producing at least 3 batches of meat a year. For now, only students from the CARE outlets at Anse La Raye and Soufriere will be benefiting from the initiative, giving them the opportunity to select and engage in poultry farming as one of the many programs offered at the school.
According to Perishables Manager of CFL, Dunstan Demille, the future of agriculture rests with the youth and it is important that students understand the range of options available. He says poultry is an area where there is a lot of opportunity for growth.Remarkably, the company has committed to covering at least sixty five percent (65%) of the cost of establishing this new project. The pens are expected to be operational in March of this year.
Newly appointed IICA representative for the Eastern Caribbean States, Mr. John King was also part of the visiting delegation and has been very vocal about his praise for CFL’s commitment to HOOPSS and the project’s overall importance to the island. “This type of programme” he says, “is the answer to our aging farming population on island and the major key to increasing food production in the country and sustaining our very vital economic sector.”
As the HOOPSS project continues to build momentum, Consolidated Foods Ltd will like to urge more schools to come on board as well as the wider business community to work together to help bring back the nation’s economy to a reputable standard via agriculture.
Consolidated Foods Limited has partnered with a number of organizations with the intention of reversing a noticeable decline in the island’s production of root crops.
Dunstan Demille, Perishables Manager for Consolidated Foods Ltd says over the past ten years it appears that farmers have gradually moved away from the more challenging cultivation of root and tuber crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and cabbage which take an average of 6-12 weeks to grow.
Last week CFL initiated a brainstorming session with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Marketing Department, the Tissue Culture Lab, the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute, Renwick and Company and local farmers to develop strategies to revive interest in this sector.
Officials of CARDI Renwick and SLBS at Head Table
In his address to the over 25 farmers present at the brainstorming meeting Dunstan urged the gathering to capitalize on this unique opportunity. “We at CFL have acknowledged our role in guiding you our farmers on what needs to be produced in order to feed the nation, now it is your turn to take this programme to a level of seriousness so that we can get the necessary volumes to eventually be able to reduce our import bill. With this new approach we aim to achieve a number of objectives which include consistency of supply and the introduction of more market stable varieties of roots and tubers to our market. Working alongside our agricultural partners we are confident that we will all reap great rewards with this programme.”
Renwick and Company as the leading supplier of agricultural supplies has thrown its support behind the CFL initiative to increase production of root crops, a critical ingredient in the promotion of food security and the reduction of the island’s huge food import bill.
Agricultural development is a core area of support for CFL (operators of Super J IGA, Mega J and gl foodmarket). The company has a number of initiatives in place to support the growth and development of CFL registered farmers including a loan fund and preferential pricing for certified farmers. Agriculture in schools is another significant area where CFL is one of two major contributors to HOOPSS, a programme which underpins the existing agricultural programmes offered at primary and secondary schools and allows students to be exposed to Agriculture technologies and agribusiness.
One of the island’s leading radio stations is using its reach into the various communities on the island and across the region, to edify and arouse public consciousness about Cancer, in particular breast cancer. The WAVE has aligned itself with this very important cause through its support of the Yoplait Walk for Cancer.
As the “Official Radio Partner of the Yoplait Walk” , the local radio station which is affiliated with the STARCOM regional network has been keeping the “I Pledge” theme and the campaign very current in the minds of listeners. Through its various announcers, the station is providing the public with lots of useful information on what to look for, signs and symptoms, protection against breast cancer, early detection, diagnosis and treatment among other areas.
The wave team pledge support
The station is also conducting weekly live radio interviews with various special guests including Cancer Specialists as well as Survivors. In addition to this, the team at the WAVE have been creating sustained hype for the walk as they excite the public to go out and support this massive cancer fundraiser. During these interviews the public can call in to win some great prizes provided by CFL.
In a statement on its commitment, the WAVE pledged to bring focused attention to the cause using uplifting and motivational messages and methods that young people are able to relate to.
“We are pleased to continue this relationship with CFL, as we pledge our support for the efforts at awareness, prevention and care in the fight against breast cancer, another scourge worthy of elimination. It is our honor to work with you on the awareness building and also to help raise funds so that persons affected in some way benefit from your efforts.”
This coming Saturday the WAVE will be supporting the outreach efforts of Consolidated Foods Limited, by linking up with the CFL team at various locations where Yoplait Walk T-shirts are being sold.
The Yoplait Walk for Cancer is scheduled for Sunday November 3rd from Mega J to Pigeon Island. Wave Announcers TC Brown and Masana have pledged their personal support as co- hosts of the event which starts at 6am.
Monies raised from the campaign are donated to the National Community Foundation (NCF) to help fund treatment such as lumpectomies, chemotherapy, radiation and mastectomies for women who need this level of support.
A mammogram (or x-ray picture of the breast) is used to look for early signs of breast cancer. This test can reduce a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer, by detecting this cancer when it is more easily treated and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. However low-income women are often faced with varying competing priorities related to day-to-day survival and this can make preventive health care a low priority.
With this in mind Faces of Cancer, a local cancer support group is stepping up its programme of awareness and cancer prevention and reduction initiatives. The group organizes an annual health fair, which includes free screening and with support from corporate St. Lucia, the cost of mammograms are covered for a number of women who are unable to afford this test.
sancha raggie presents cheque to faces of Cancer
During the launch of the 2013 Yoplait Save Lids and Walk Campaign, the group received some much needed support from Consolidated Foods Ltd. SanchaRaggie, CFL’s Marketing Manager presented a cheque of EC $1500.00 to the group to cover the cost of mammograms for ten women.
President of FOC, Mrs. Dorothy Phillip who is a breast cancer survivor, says regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.
She explains that “Although less common, men also can get breast cancer, as they too have breast tissue. Therefore men should also make it a habit of examining their breasts, to detect any changes such as lumps, a discharge or change in the shape of the breasts.”
Faces of Cancers is a focused on helping newly diagnosed patients, those in treatment, survivors and terminal patients, while creating awareness of breast cancer through education. Some of their interventions include accompanying newly diagnosed patients to their doctor’s visits, providing comfort and teaching coping skills. For patients undergoing treatment, the group provides chemotherapy support and household support (house cleaning, grocery shopping and meals).
The general public is encouraged to support the health fair on Saturday October 26, at the Castries Town Hall and obtain more information on breast cancer and cancer in general.
St. Lucia observes October 16
CFL initiates “Building a Healthier Nation with farmers”
Although the Agriculture, Health and the Nutrition sectors all seek to improve human well being, Agriculture is not often positioned as a tool to address nutrition and health challenges. With moves by Consolidated Foods Ltd. to work with its registered farmers to strengthen this link, Mrs. Lisa Hunt-Mitchell, Chief Nutritionist attached to the Ministry of Health has challenged farmers to not only produce high quality crops, but also in high enough volumes to help sustain and build a healthier Saint Lucia. She highlighted the importance of buying and eating local food produce and also urged CFL farmers to look towards alternative and more sustainable farming methods as well as crop diversification.
CFL spinach farmer
Mrs. Hunt Mitchell made the comments while addressing the company’s annual registered farmers meeting under the theme “Building a Healthier Nation with farmers”. As the island’s largest buyer of Agriculture produce and leading supermarket retailer, much of what the nation is fed comes from the company’s supermarket shelves and in that context CFL’s Managing Director Martin Dorville has acknowledged the important role which the company plays in this regard.
Mr. Dorville says CFL recognises that opportunities exist for agriculture, especially local produce to contribute in a more profound way to better the health of the wider population. He noted the importance of working with farmers and schools in agricultural development, while simultaneously educating customers about Food Nutrition and Healthy eating as some of the main priority areas for the company.
CFL registered farmer-Mr. Balthazar Joseph
“This is an area that our Produce Department has been making some inroads in, and we now want to focus on this in a more strategic way. Working in partnership with our farmers, we want to position ourselves to make a real difference through targeted initiatives that enhance Agricultural production, Food Nutrition and Health and place greater focus on the production of traditional crops which are becoming more and more scare due to among issues inconsistencies in the weather patterns. We also understand the value of sensitizing customers on issues relating to healthy diets and lifestyle and so we continue to work closely with farmers, schools, our staff and the Ministry of Agriculture in that regard”.
No doubt the company’s efforts at encouraging farmers to increase the production of crops that contribute to food nutrition is beginning to bear fruit. A visit to the produce section of many company’s supermarkets (Super J IGA, Mega J and gl food market) would reveal kale, cayenne peppers, guavas, rosemary, basil, among other locally grown crops. In fact many of CFL farmers are using the company’s Farmer’s Loan Programme to engage in production of these types of crops to ensure that customers have readily available quality local nutritious fruits and vegetables.
CFL Managing Director – Martin Dorville
Minister of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development Honourable Moses Jn. Baptiste who was also present at the meeting acknowledged that “if we are not food secure, it poses a problem for national security and so the whole world is focusing on food security”. He therefore commended CFL on recognising the importance of continuously meeting with and engaging farmers on various aspects of food production including food nutrition. He was very pleased by the importance attached to increasing customer awareness of health issues and healthy eating, as it relates to Agriculture.
Apart from Health and Nutrition, CFL’s meeting with farmers touched on a range of issues including cost management, better production planning for product availability, farmer certification and issues relating to praedial larceny. Nutmeg, cloves, thyme, cilantro, pigeon peas, collard greens, watercress, beets and packaged hot peppers were among the opportunities for growth as a result of customer demand
“I pledge”- that’s the theme for the 2013 Yoplait Cancer Campaign
October is breast cancer awareness month and for the past five years Consolidated Foods Limited and the Yoplait brand of yogurt have teamed up to present the Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign and Yoplait Walk for Cancer, to raise awareness and much needed funds for breast cancer.
Over the past five (5) years through the support of St. Lucia, these campaigns have helped to raise over $120,000 dollars to support the institutions that assist women affected by breast cancer.
CFL Senior Management with ECFH officials at launch of campaign
This year’s theme is “I pledge” and the public is invited to pledge their part to help the cause, as small actions can make a big difference.
Addressing the launch on Tuesday morning CFL’s Marketing Manager SanchaRaggie identified some of the ways in which the public can pledge their support:
“You can purchase a Yoplait Yogurt as part of the The Save Lids to Save Lives campaign which is an easy and impactful way in which to support. Yoplait and CFL will donate 10 cents for every 6 oz. Yoplait cup purchased island wide during the period October 1st to November 17th. Then you can Register for the Yoplait walk for Cancer– which is now in its 6th year. We will be walking from Mega J to Pigeon Island on November 3rd, at 6:00am and registration is only $15 at Super J IGA Supermarkets, Mega J or glfoodmarket.”
Ms. Raggie also encouraged the public to pledge by participating in the Cancer awareness, fundraising and prevention activities of the local support groups such as Faces of Cancer and Reach to Recovery.
“You can also encourage your friends and family to do the same as a little goes a long way. Most importantly pledge to take care of yourself and to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle, as the experts tell us that this is important in reducing the risk of breast cancer,” said Raggie.
The official launch saw various companies, business houses and organization pledging their support to the campaign. The proceeds generated from the two activities will be donated to the National Community Foundation to assist women in need of chemotherapy, radiography, PET scans and other treatments.
SLTB/CFL alignment adds significance to Wellness Retreat & Yoplait Walk
An alignment of effort and agendas between the Saint Lucia Health & Wellness Retreat and the annual Yoplait Walk for Cancer aims to heighten awareness leading to behavior change in lifestyles and life choices. Importantly, integrating Health & Wellness Retreat participants with the mass resident crowd that is expected to turn out to walk for cancer on Sunday November 3, 2013 will reinforce the universality of the message about cancer awareness.
With the Health & Wellness Retreat coinciding with the Yoplait Walk, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) pursued a strategic alignment with CFL, which also leverages the promotional machinery of one event in support of the other.
Deputy Director of the SLTB Tracey Warner Arnold says the object of the Health & Wellness Retreat is to reinforce the benefits of rest and relaxation; the natural option for diet and body care; and also that exercise is not an option but an essential part of the health regime especially considering what goes into most processed food.
“What we hope to communicate in a deliberate way is that investing in rest and relaxation, health and wellness as preventative approaches is not an option. It is essential to avoid costly consequences like cancer and diabetes and such,” Mrs. Arnold said.
Cancers impacting the prostate, breasts and lymph combined make the condition the leading cause of death in Saint Lucia.
The Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) Yoplait event culminates Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is observed in October. For six years , CFL has partnered with the yogurt brand to focus attention on the significance of raising funds for breast cancer awareness and treatment. To date CFL has contributed EC $120,000 to various cancer organizations to assist women in need with chemotherapy, radiography, PET scans and other treatments.
Visit www.stlucianow.com/hw or contact our call center at (758-452-4094) for booking information. The second annual Saint Lucia Health and Wellness Retreat takes place November 1st – 3rd at Pigeon Island National Landmark at a cost of $200 per day or $595 for the full weekend of activities.
About The Saint Lucia Health & Wellness Retreat
The 2013 Saint Lucia Health & Wellness Retreat is presented with the partnership of the Office of Public Sector Relations (OPSR), Yoplait, Caribbean Super Station and The Wave. The 3-day event will run from November 1st – 3rd at the Pigeon Island National Landmark and feature local and international experts including Cat Cora, Gabrielle Bernstein, John Douillard, John and Joanna Gray, John Schumacher, Marie Piazza, Jimmy James and Danielle Devaux.
Pizza Pizza is well known for creating an atmosphere where kids can have fun while enjoying great food. If you passed by the food outlet on the weekend of September 7th and 8th, you would notice that the atmosphere was even more bubbly and charged than normal. Melodic echoes of merry making could be heard from a distance, as kids enjoyed the bouncing castles, trampolines, swings, face painting, clowns, ventriloquists and life size cartoon characters.
A similar activity followed at the Vieux Fort Primary School on Saturday September 14th, with equal excitement as the kids squealed with delight as they met some of their favorite cartoon characters and enjoyed the bouncy castles while being treated to delicious treats and snacks galore. This was the atmosphere and enjoyment which Super J IGA had promised as it launched it’s Back to School Summer Fun Party in July, and from all indications the company achieved its objective.
Kids Enjoy Summer Fun
The Super J IGA Kids Summer Fun Party (part one of supermarket chain’s 2013 Back to School Promotion) was organized to celebrate the over 165 customers who won the promotion. There was no shortage of fun or laughter at the thrill of the events at the various party locations. As one parent put it, “the promotion captured the spirit of summer in its fleeting glory.”
“I am happy to see the children having this much fun, there is a warm feel about this promotion. I know that everyone is truly appreciative as many people don’t get to experience the feeling of being a winner and this celebrity treatment,” said GenelleFontelle.
Though the Kids Summer Fun parties catered to the children, in no way were the parents forgotten in the midst of it all. Each parent walked away with a hamper filled with some of their favorite products and treats. This promotion was one with a difference as scores of customers enjoyed great value and celebrated with Super J IGA in a truly memorable way.
The second component of the Back to School Promotion ended on September 18th. The draw is set for next week and one lucky customer from each Super J IGA store and Ti J’s location will get a chance to win a Lenovo Netbook. Members of the public can also win a Lenovo Notebook via the company’s Facebook page by writing in to indicate why they should win the gadget. The write up with the most Likes by Super J Facebook fans will win the prize.
The Board of Consolidated Foods Ltd. (CFL) has announced the appointment of Martin Dorville to the position of Managing Director of the company effective October 1, 2013. Mr. Dorville is a dedicated, organized and respected Business Executive with over twenty two years business experience, eighteen of which have been in the Grocery retail industry. Mr. Dorville steps into the new position, after having served as Deputy Managing Director of CFL for the past five years, prior to which he served in several senior management positions within the company.
Mr. Dorville is the holder of an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Warwick Business School and a First Class Honors degree in Management from the UWI, Mona Campus. He brings to the position an outstanding record in Business Management and well grounded knowledge of the Retail environment which is expected to serve him well as he oversees the company’s food retail business, as well as its subsidiary companies.
The Board is confident that Mr. Dorville and his team is well qualified to continue to grow and strengthen the company’s operations in St. Lucia and the regional market.
Mr. Dorville succeeds Mr. Andre Chastanet, who retires at the end of September as Managing Director of the company. Andre Chastanet will remain a Director on the board of CFL.
Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) is a private limited liability Saint Lucian Company involved in food retail. The company was formed in 2004, through a merger of Saint Lucia’s premiere and oldest supermarket chains and currently operates Super J IGA supermarkets, Mega J and gl food market ltd. Apart from St. Lucia, CFL has operations in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The company prides itself on its ability to provide an international retail experience wherever it operates, through the supply of high quality food and non-food products, while promoting the growth and development of its team members and supporting the local agricultural and manufacturing industries and the community. Ten percent (10%) of CFL is owned by over 200 of the company’s staff who benefit from the profitability and growth of their company.
Rubis West Indies Limited is the latest Super J IGA Shopping Power Partner. The partnership was launched on Wednesday, September 18th, at RubisSuperserve Service Station, Bois De Orange to an audience which included the Honourable Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Minister of Commerce, Business Development & Consumer Affairs.
Super J and Rubis Team pose with Minister
Through this initiative Rubis customers will earn points every time they purchase Rubis gasoline or diesel with a Super J loyalty card. They will also be able to redeem their points for Super J loyalty vouchers to purchase products at the thirteen Rubis outlets located across the island.
In a statement on the partnership, Rubis Country Representative Chad Etienne said the company (which distributes high quality products including petroleum, LPG and lubricants) recognizes the importance of rewarding customers for their commitment and loyalty to the brand.
“This initiative is reflective of our commitment to developing the energy sector and growing our customer base through innovation and progress,” he said.
Superserve, Rubis Service Station at Bois D’Orange
Martin Dorville, Deputy Managing Director of Super J IGA noted that as companies seek new and exciting ways to add value to the customer experience, it is always important to listen to the voice of the customer and adapt where possible. He said the inclusion of the seventeen Rubis outlets on island creates a convenient and value-added way for the two companies customers to shop for groceries and gas.
The addition of Rubis to the Super J IGA Loyalty Partnership Programme, brings to thirty two the number of outlets where the Super J IGA loyalty card can be used to earn points and discounts and which accept Super J loyalty vouchers as payment for products and services. This unique partnership offers exceptional value to customers of both Super J IGA and its partners because of the unique and varied offerings of the partners. The partners comprise a range of the island’s leading businesses including LIME, BOSL, Courts, JQ Motors, Big Chef’s Steak House, True Value Hardware, Fond Doux Estate, Carasco and Son, Shawn’s and Nature’s Discount among others.