Caribbean Flavours & Fragrances Limited, CFF, has pumped some $40 million into the modernisation of its Spanish Town Road, Kingston-based factory, investments that have helped the company record its best half-year revenue performance to date.
Improvement works in its factory began in 2020, when the company spent nearly $10 million on machinery, but continued into 2021 when it did the bulk of the modernisation works, which cost the company some $28 million.
“Some of the things we did included stainless steel pipes that run right through the plant. A lot of the raw material that we use in our production process had to be brought in by hand in the past, but we changed that to a complete automation process,” Managing Director Derrick Cotterell told shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.
The upgrades, in addition to CCF’s recent SQF recertification for food safety, put the company in standing with that of an international company, Cotterell boasted.
“One key achievement for us in modernising the plant, was to have an in-house product development facility built. We built that out last year, and that lab has helped us to build out prototypes of finished products, check shelf life, allows for customers to be accommodated so that we could play around with formulations, and so forth,” he said.
“This is something new for CFF. In former years, we had to be sharing our quality lab to do product development works.”
The modernisation process formed a critical part of strategic plans set by CFF in 2021, which included growing its exports to at least 10 per cent of sales. During the half-year to June 2022, the company added new clients from Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic as it sought to build on its Caribbean export portfolio.
CFF has also collaborated with its parent company, Derrimon Trading Group, on the distribution of its sorrel, ginger beer, homemade lemonade and pink lemonade concentrates through New York, United States-based speciality supermarket and food distributors FoodSaver New York and Good Food for Less, to widen its revenue stream.
“CFF will be utilising this expanded network and new linkage to reach a broader target market. This synergy with our parent company will allow us to further leverage Derrimon’s distribution network to achieve our core targets,” the company said.
For the six months up to June 2022, CFF recorded earnings of $45 million on revenues that grew 19 per cent to $359 million.