Tue | Aug 9, 2022
RJRGLEANER Honour Awards 2021

GraceKennedy – Expanding Brand Jamaica on the global market

Published:Thursday | June 16, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Headquartered in Jamaica, the GraceKennedy Group is world-renowned for its various services.
Headquartered in Jamaica, the GraceKennedy Group is world-renowned for its various services.
Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
‘Our core values have, over the years, really embedded in us the qualities of being the dynamic company that we are.’ – Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
‘Our core values have, over the years, really embedded in us the qualities of being the dynamic company that we are.’ – Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
Don Wehby, Chief Executive Office of the GraceKenndy Group.
1
2
3
4
5

CATEGORY: Business

 

 

The name GraceKennedy is one that has made its mark in the hearts of many Jamaicans at home and abroad. After 100 years of service, the brand continues to dominate locally and around the world.

The company's focused commitment to Brand Jamaica, marked success, outstanding achievements and resolve to lead by example have not gone unnoticed.

The GraceKennedy Group is being recognised by the RJRGLEANER Honour Awards for its positive and exemplary corporate leadership and expansion in 2021, during a tumultuous period for businesses and individuals.

“I really feel happy that we are being recognised in this way. The award is much more than a trophy you receive. It motivates and energises our staff at all levels when they know that the company they work so hard for is being recognised by one of the most prestigious awards,” said Group Chief Executive Office (CEO), Don Wehby.

GraceKennedy Group's sustained accomplishment is a result of the main pillars on which it was established. The principles of honesty, integrity and trust have passed down throughout the years and remain up until today.

“Our core values have, over the years, really embedded in us the qualities of being the dynamic company that we are,” said Wehby.

Headquartered in Jamaica, the GraceKennedy Group is world-renowned for its various services. Since the founding of the company in 1922, numerous subsidiaries have been formed, and the group has grown into one of the Caribbean's leading and most dynamic food and financial corporate entities.

Western Union is one such subsidiary of the GraceKennedy Group.

In 1990, Jamaica experienced a financial crisis which resulted in a significant shortage in foreign exchange. This created an opportunity for GraceKennedy to partner with Western Union and provide much-needed assistance to the country. Remittances from Jamaicans living in the Diaspora have become one of Jamaica's main foreign exchange earners. The Group CEO said the company now controls 50 per cent of the remittance market, operating Western Union outlets in 12 different countries.

In 2013, GraceKennedy bought the La Fe Company, and another subsidiary was formed. La Fe is GraceKennedy USA – a full-service distributor of food products.

“La Fe is doing fantastic; very profitable and growing significantly. Our products can be found in Wal-Mart, ShopRite and all the major food chains in the United States,” Wehby said.

He noted that with the support of the Diaspora, GraceKennedy has truly become an international company.

Over the years, the company continues to invest in industry and commerce in Jamaica.

Wehby noted that 'What is good for Jamaica is good for GraceKennedy', said by Carlton Alexander, really speaks to why the company continues to invest in the country.

“Jamaica is our home, we love Jamaica, we believe in Jamaica. We believe Jamaica is a great place to invest, and GraceKennedy will continue to invest in Jamaica,” Wehby said.

Despite the current economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the GraceKennedy Group has continued to realise a profit.

“Our audited revenue is just under $130 billion and our profit is approximately $8.9 billion. In the period 2020 to 2021, the company has seen a growth in terms of profitability of 34.4 per cent, and in terms of revenue, 12 per cent,” Wehby revealed.

The CEO said there is a strong correlation between the profitability of a company and employee engagement.

“If you want profitability, start with your employees first to ensure that they align with the company's vision. At GraceKennedy, our staff is very important. They are our greatest asset and they are the true heroes,” Wehby proudly stated.

 

INTERESTING FACTS

• Last year, GraceKennedy achieved the best financial performance in its history.

• The company recorded its highest level of employee engagement – a score of 71 per cent, which is six per cent above the global benchmark.

• During the COVID-19 crisis, GraceKennedy increased its support of the communities it serves with millions of dollars' worth of care packages, devices for online learning, and contributions to frontline workers and the healthcare sector.

• The International Food Trading subsidiaries delivered phenomenal results for 2020, with USA distribution company GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC, achieving new milestones.

• The company expanded its offerings in the insurance sector with the acquisition of Key Insurance.

 

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS

• GraceKennedy, one of the Caribbean's largest and most dynamic food and financial corporate entities, started in Jamaica in 1922, and comprises companies in the Caribbean, North and Central America, the United Kingdom and Africa.

• 210 tablets and laptops valued, at over J$5 million, were donated to Jamaican teachers and students through the 'GK Cares Tools for Schools' programme.

• GraceKennedy was honoured for Excellence in Global Business Leadership at the 25th Annual Legacy Awards Gala of the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies.

• The company won the Governor General's Award for Excellence as the Main Market Best Practices Awards' Overall Winner.

• Over 100 GraceKennedy money services locations served as payout stations for the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.

 

BUCKET LIST

• GraceKennedy hopes to expand its food distribution channel on the international market.

• To become a global consumer group, taking the best of Brand Jamaica to the world.

• To see the company listed on an international stock exchange and becoming an industry leader for the digital era.

• To continue to delight customers in all segments of the business.

• Finalise the establishment of the International Foods Division in two major markets.