John Dickinson & Co. (W.I.) Limited, a stalwart in the local manufacturing sector of tissue, school and office stationery has recently made significant investment towards the expansion and diversification of their operations. On Friday 10 September 2021, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, met with Mr. George Haloute, Chairman, Mr. Dominic Haloute, Managing Director and Mr. Christian Haloute, Director to tour the expansion of their tissue operations and its newly established related entity Guiltless Gourmet Limited at the Diamond Vale Industrial Estate, Diego Martin.
Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, John Dickinson took the decision to continue expansion efforts through investment in state of the art equipment to support the growth of their export capacity to regional and international markets. In 2020, the company acquired over 4.5 acres of derelict eTecK lands and buildings on the Industrial Estate and has made investment to operationalize the site. The company has rejuvenated three of the four buildings to date and has significantly invested in the tissue plant and machinery expansion. In the last quarter of 2020, John Dickinson’s fully automated tissue converting machinery became operational which increased output capacity by over 150%. The excess capacity is currently being used to pursue regional and extra-regional exports to new markets inclusive of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Central America and the USA, building on the market presence of the Snuggle Brand of tissue.
The investment positions the company to build on the established regional success of the tissue brand Snuggle. Minister Gopee-Scoon commended the company on the quality of the facility and their advanced technology, noting that this type of investment is necessary to ensure that the standard and quality of their products will have a competitive advantage in the international market.
Additionally, the company diversified its portfolio to include a commercially scaled yogurt manufacturing facility, Guiltless Gourmet Ltd; burgeoning from a successful yogurt start-up that previously operated in a cottage type facility. Guiltless Gourmet occupies one of the four aforementioned rejuvenated buildings at the Diamond Vale Industrial Estate, Diego Martin. The Guiltless Yogurt subsidiary currently supplies the local market and has the capacity to supply export markets. Since its introduction to the local market, the Guiltless Yogurt brand has been met with favourable response from consumers who desire a fresh locally produced alternative to imported products and which incorporates local flavours. The company intends to fully utilise available local content in their production.
Minister Gopee-Scoon, an advocate for family business, congratulated the Haloute family on their entrepreneurial vision, business expansion and pivot to the food and beverage sub-sector, particularly during the pandemic. She said “this is the type of innovation, expansion and diversification we need from our manufacturers that will certainly contribute to enhancing the country’s economic growth and stability”.