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Kellier lauds JB Group for business, labour practices

Published:Saturday | May 2, 2015 | 5:00 AMChristopher Serju

Agriculture Minister Derrick Kellier has commended the Jamaica Broilers Group for its strict adherence to global manufacturing standards as well as good industrial relations practices.

"We get the impression, cursory though it may, that your workforce seems to be a competent one and they seem to be fairly happy and focused, and that is the key ingredient to success of many enterprises," he said at the company's corporate head office in McCook's Pen, St Catherine.

He continued: "The workers are the heart of business and without the workers you have no business. From all indications and from what I have gleaned about the labour relations side of it, it seems to be managed very well. I want to congratulate you and the Jamaica Broilers team for ensuring that the workers' welfare are properly attended to."

top-class operation

Kellier, who also has the labour and industrial relations portfolio, had earlier led a tour of the company's feed mills operations in Bodles, St Catherine, as well as the Best Dressed Chicken processing plant in Spring Village, also in the parish.

"I really think the operation is top class. We've visited many operations in North America and I really think the team has learnt a lot from the experience of today," he said.

In fact, Kellier admitted that the insight into the company's operations gleaned from the tour had given him a greater appreciation for the different aspects of its business.

"Most people may think that it's just a chicken operation, but we have seen the diverse things that you are capable of producing in the factory. Nothing goes to waste, and that is very important in this kind of operation. It means that farmers who support you, they benefit quite well and, again, that extension service is a good thing. The corporate support you give to the citizens by way of the things that you set up in the community is commendable," Kellier asserted.

In response, Christopher Levy, president and chief executive officer of the Jamaica Broilers Group, assured the minister that this helping hand approach was at the heart of its corporate philosophy.

"This company is about building other people's business. That's what we do. We want the farmers to invest and we will support them - whether it is in technical services, feed or whether it is in sales and marketing. For us, it's about building other people's business. We see ourselves, quite frankly, almost as an extension of the Ministry of Agriculture," Levy shared.

He went on to single out Dr Osbil Watson, head of the Vete-rinary Services Division, for his excellent leadership and willingness to provide technical support to the wider farming community, citing the recent Asian flu

outbreak as an example of the cooperation that helps to strengthen Jamaica's global competitiveness in agriculture.

Levy assured the minister of his company's support in the ongoing drive to improve and increase Jamaica's production and productivity.

"I want to pledge that Jamaica Broilers is a hundred per cent behind you and the agricultural industry and its development. We go through a lot of changes and phases in this country, but we have been here 54 years. It's because we've been able to understand the various governments, leaders and ministers of agriculture and the priorities, and (we) work accordingly with them," he declared.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com