Stewart: Sandals will use local products
It is not lip service!
That message was hammered home to manufacturers and farmers today by the operators of Sandals Barbados, amid concerns about the use of local products.
In fact, chairman of the international hotel brand Gordon “Butch” Stewart said the hotel had already started using local products, and intended to increase its demand.
Stewart said a number of manufacturers, including those involved in the production of beverages and meat, have already started bringing their supplies to the hotel.
He made the comments today during a media conference that followed a tour of Sandals’ Dover, Christ Church property.
“Once we know what it is that the community and the Government need, the way they would like us to go about it, the way in which they would like us to help, they won’t get lip service. They will get people that they deal with searching for ways to make it work better so that the people in agriculture can benefit. Not only the people in [agriculture], but the people that distribute, the people that import. Some things you can produce or grow, some things you won’t. That goes for literally all aspects in the organization,” said Stewart.
“But after saying that, I think it is an approach that is live and let live. It takes two to tango.”
Meantime, chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul said he was hopeful that farmers would have “a constructive relationship” with the hotel.
Paul said he has already met with hotel officials on behalf of farmers and discussed arrangements for the supply of produce.
He said the procurement manager at the hotel, Jordan Samuda, has indicated what they were expecting in terms of quality and the type of produce.
“Based on what he has provided we are hoping that we can structure the production within the sector to be able to satisfy Sandals’ demands. We know that it is not going to be easy because there is not a relationship that is there already and we do not have any existing hotels in Barbados that are likely to buy on the scale that Sandals is proposing to do.
“So it is a learning experience and we recognize that. But the point is that we are hoping to benefit from that,” Paul said.