Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Cari-Med Group to build $6-billion distribution centre

Published:Friday | October 18, 2019 | 12:19 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) breaks ground for Cari-Med Group Limited’s new multibillion-dollar distribution centre in Bernard Lodge, St Catherine, on Wednesday. Also participating (from left) are member of parliament for South St Catherine, where the facility will be located, Fitz Jackson; Marva Christian, wife of Dr Glen Christian (second right), who is Cari-Med’s chief executive officer and chairman; and director of Tank-Weld Limited, which will construct the centre, Louis Aiken.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) breaks ground for Cari-Med Group Limited’s new multibillion-dollar distribution centre in Bernard Lodge, St Catherine, on Wednesday. Also participating (from left) are member of parliament for South St Catherine, where the facility will be located, Fitz Jackson; Marva Christian, wife of Dr Glen Christian (second right), who is Cari-Med’s chief executive officer and chairman; and director of Tank-Weld Limited, which will construct the centre, Louis Aiken.

Cari-Med Group Limited is investing more than $6 billion in the development of a distribution centre in St Catherine.

The 258,000-square-foot facility, which is being built on land along Salt Pond Road in Bernard Lodge, will house the warehouses and administrative offices of the entity’s Consumer Goods Division.

The first phase of the project, for which ground was broken on Wednesday, is slated for completion in December 2020.

Cari-Med, which was established in 1986 by noted businessman Dr Glen Christian distributes a wide range of household, personal care, and pharmaceutical products, as well as foods.

The operations have grown over the years to now comprise Cari-Med Distributors, Kirk Distributors, and its export arm, Cari-Med International.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who participated in the breaking of ground for the multibillion-dollar project, hailed Cari-Med as “the sort of success story that we must replicate right across Jamaica”.

“We need more entrepreneurs like Glen Christian, who takes business not just as business ... but as his passion. We need more Jamaicans like [him, who are willing] to take a risk on Jamaica to create more employment for Jamaicans and to expand the Jamaican economy,” Holness said.

Christian, who is Cari-Med Group’s chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman, said that simultaneous with the entity’s expansion over the years has been a growth in employment.

“Our total staff complement today stands at over 900 persons, as well as over 100 contractors [providing] transportation and ancillary services,” he said.

Christian said that Cari-Med has also contributed indirectly to the growth of the local business process outsourcing industry through the purchase of the former Claro building in New Kingston.

“That building was leased to Sutherland Global, which employs more than 1,200 persons in its call centre and realises annualised net earnings of approximately US$20 million,” he noted.

The CEO said the group has also been instrumental in facilitating a number of small and medium-sized enterprises experiencing challenges accessing the requisite capital for the scale-up and marketing of their products.

“By hitching their wagon to our engine, they have been able to access a wider market and build their brands,” he noted.