Tue | Jun 30, 2015

Canco contributing to St Thomas communities

Published:Monday | December 10, 2012
Ivonnie Francis, an ackee sheller, sorts through ackees on the racks at the Canco Limited factory in Seaforth, St Thomas. - Photo by Ian Allen/Photographer
Emerson James, president of the Seaforth Community Development Association with Dorothy Ramsay, managing director of Canco Limited, manufacturer and distributor of the Linstead Market and Ecowells Brands, standing in front of a mural done by students of the Seaforth High School. - Photo by Ian Allen/Photographer
Dorothy Ramsay (left), managing director of Canco Limited listens to Trineta Fendall, principal of the Seaforth Primary School. Canco Limited sponsors the school's feeding programme each month. - Photo by Ian Allen/Photographer
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Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

National Commercial Bank Nation Builder National and Regional Awardee, Canco Limited, has had a positive impact on the local community of Seaforth in St Thomas for more than 26 years. Not only has Canco Limited assisted with a breakfast feeding programme at the Seaforth Primary School, but the company's plant is located in the community.

Canco Limited trades under the brand names Linstead Market Jamaica and Ecowells Soil Conditioner and employs more than 200 persons from the community. They also support more than 400 local farmers islandwide, with some 200 from St Thomas who supply the company with fresh Jamaican fruits and vegetables.

According to Emerson James, president of the Seaforth Community Development Association, the community has a high unemployment rate and Canco Limited's involvement, especially during the high season, has had a significant impact on the residents.

"The company provides employment to a number of persons in the community. They not only purchase their products but they also provide employment. When we have our projects and we inform them, they assist us monetarily and also in kind. The employees also involve themselves in all the things that we do," James said.

Meanwhile, Trineta Fendall, whohas been principal of the Seaforth Primary School for over three years,
said the students benefited tremendously from the breakfast feeding
programme.

"We receive assistance towards the programme on a monthly
basis. When the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) was introduced, we used it to give the very needy students lunch as well," Fendall said.

Scholarships

Of the
more than 450 students at the rural institution, Fendall said
three-quarters of the students are on the PATH programme. She said Canco
Limited further assists with scholarships for the needy children of
employees who attend the school. "We think they are doing well for the
community. If Canco should pull out from here, can you imagine the
impact it would have on the community? Many of the parents are
unemployed and Canco plays an important role in employing them," Fendall
said.

Fendall said they are also in the process of
implementing a mentorship programme geared towards assisting with the
growth and development of young boys. Recently, she said, five boys were
chosen and given incentives to encourage them.

The
principal also indicated that one of their fund-raising initiatives
includes a concert. The Parent Teachers' Association she said are
responsible for the execution of the project and they get assistance
from Canco Limited as well.

"They contribute products
and mobilise the employees to purchase tickets. The employees are also
very supportive of the school," Fendall
said.

According to managing director of Canco Limited,
Dorothy Ramsay, the company has dedicated itself to making a positive
and sustainable contribution to the development of
Jamaica.

"Canco is focused on becoming one of the
leading Jamaican brands that consistently offers high-quality products
and good service. Our treasured employees are the backbone of the
company and we will continue to grow through them. Canco's impact will
grow as we target corporate citizenship and community development," said

Ramsay.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com