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Campari credits Jamaica for growth

Published:Friday | March 13, 2015 | 1:11 PM

General Counsel and business development officer of Gruppo Campari, Stefano Saccardi, has credited his company's rise to investing in Jamaica and acquiring one of the country's top international brands.

Prior to coming to Jamaica, Saccardi said Campari was a small, though viable interest in Italy. Campari's association with J Wray & Nephew's ambassador brand, Appleton, has improved its profile on the international market.

As part of Campari's expansion agenda, it is currently seeking to increase its invest-ment in Jamaica through partnership with investors in the agricultural sector.

Speaking at the second Jamaica Investment Forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, on March 12, Saccardi said Campari was looking for molasses producers to source the product locally, with the aim of reducing the company's molasses import bill.

strong interest

Saccardi added that his company has a strong interest in sugar cane production, which is important to the manufacturing of molasses, a base product of rum.

"A strong cooperation with agriculture is very important for us as, ideally, we would love to have Jamaican molasses for our distilleries. Agriculture has potential here (and) needs to be improved. It is also a labour-intensive business which could provide a lot of (employment possibilities)," he said.

Pointing to other possible investment partnerships and collaborations, Saccardi said there is need for more tourist attractions. He suggests that the re-introduction of the Appleton Express, from Montego Bay to the distillery, would be a strong investment area.

He said that the linkages the Express provided with local communities, craft traders, and the Jamaica Railway Corporation made it lucrative. Co-branding with local multi-nationals, Saccardi noted, could also improve the country's investment possibilities.

J Wray & Nephew's Appleton is among the company's top six brands, which also include Aperol, Campari, Cinzano, SKYY and Wild Turkey brands.

More than 130 potential investors from countries across the globe are in attendance at the two-day forum, which is sponsored by JAMPRO, Commerzbank, Digicel Business and the Inter-American Development Bank.