Fri | Oct 19, 2018

LASCO opens new liquid plant, provides more jobs

Published:Tuesday | January 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller opens a refreshing bottle of iCool Cran-Strawberry Flavoured Water, presented to her by Dr. Eileen Chin (left), managing director of LASCO Manufacturing Limited. Sharing in the discussions are Lascelles Chin (second right), founder and executive chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies; and Cleverick Doughorty (right), production manager for the Liquid Plant, during a tour of the new LASCO Manufacturing facilities last week

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has commended Lascelles Chin for his commitment to Jamaica, further demonstrated through the recent expansion of LASCO Manufacturing's production capacity.

During a tour of the facilities at White Marl, St Catherine, last Wednesday, Simpson Miller stated, "I recognise the company as a driver of economic growth and a valuable and consistent provider of jobs for Jamaican people. LASCO's investment in their new factory capacity, a liquid plant at White Marl, is a response to growing market demand. The ability of companies to change in response to new market dynamic is critical to renewing Jamaica's manufacturing sector and giving new life."

The company broke ground in 2012 for the state-of-the-art facility, which has been in full operation since the third quarter of last year. LASCO has since launched the first locally manufactured line of non-carbonated beverages for the company. The brand LASCO iCool includes iCool Water, iCool Juice Drinks and iCool Cranberry Flavoured Waters and has been well received in trade.

Chin, founder and executive chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, said further expansion is on the horizon as the manufacturing company will implement a third production shift to meet the escalated demand, as well as to enhance the storage capacity.

"We will be investing over $1.2 billion to erect a 100,000-square-foot warehouse at LASCO Distributors Ltd, providing well-needed space required for satisfying the increased production of liquid and powdered products from the new LASCO Manufacturing plant," explained Chin.

Improve efficiency

LASCO Manufacturing Limited's new manufacturing plant, constructed at more than US$25 million, brings its facilities at White Marl to just about 340,000 square feet with the introduction of liquid manufacturing facilities and bottle-blowing plant. LASCO's massive investment in technology is expected to improve efficiency and with the expansion will come more jobs.

Dr Eileen Chin, managing director of LASCO Manufacturing Limited, noted that the expansion has been a long process that has registered both challenges and successes.

"We saw the need to provide consumers with healthy products at an affordable price and our aim as market leaders is to bring the consumer the highest-quality products at the lowest possible price. LASCO iCool Juice Drinks and Cranberry Flavoured Waters have added vitamin B6 and B12 and minerals, which is good for the nervous system, energy and stress relief. It is a great tasting and healthy product for everyone," she explained.

Dr Chin also noted that the company, which exports to a number of countries, is focused on further expanding in these markets with growth of 40 to 50 per cent annually over the last three years.

"We continue to contribute to the country and to building Brand Jamaica," she stated.