Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Red Stripe Hires more ahead of first shipment to US

Published:Monday | August 22, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Jason Bovell, one of Red Stripe’s new employees in the Logistics Department and a graduate of the company’s Learning for Life programme, poses at the company’s plant in Kingston.
From Left: Dianne Ashton-Smith, Red Stripe's head of Corporate Relations; Jean Look-Tong, head of Red Stripe International & Exports; Marcel Maiettini, president of the Jamaica-Brazil Chamber of Commerce and Donovan McFarlane, senior vice president of the Jamaica-Brazil Chamber of Commerce are seen here following a courtesy call on Red Stripe recently.
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With exports of Red Stripe beer to the United States expected to be launched later this month, Red Stripe has hired an additional 50 employees, and will take on another 30 by the end of September, in the areas of brewing, engineering, packaging and logistics.

In 2012, Red Stripe took the very difficult decision to move its export operations to the United States as part of a broader cost- reduction strategy aimed at stemming the performance slide driven by two successive years of significant volume decline.

Against this background, the restructuring exercise was a last resort and Red Stripe remained staunchly committed to managing a business that would be able to survive tough times. Today, the business is making good on its word, bringing the company back into growth and positioning itself for increased employment.

Since last November, Red Stripe has moved from a two team operation, to a three-team operation with the plant being run five days each week. "Upon completion of our recruitment to ensure adequate human capacity consistent with our growth trajectory for increased exports and domestic sales, we will have in place a four-team operation, running every single day, every single hour," noted Melverine Hemmings, Red Stripe's head of human resources.

PLANT UPGRADES

Red Stripe has invested more than €16 million, or J$2.2 billion, in plant upgrades and increases in staff capacity as it looks forward to its first shipment next month. Among the upgrades to its production facilities in preparation for this historic milestone were the modernisation of the brewery, the installation of a combined heat and power plant (CHP), the commissioning of a new 12-pack machine, and the complete overhaul of the existing packaging line.

Jason Bovell, one of Red Stripe's new employees in the Logistics Department and a graduate of the company's Learning for Life programme, said: "I am happy and honoured to be here at this really significant point in Red Stripe's history and be part of the team that will ensure we deliver exports in true Red Stripe style. This is beyond what I ever dreamed of for myself. Everyone is beaming at the huge opportunities and the fact that we will contribute to the growth of this great company for years to come."