Guyanese ‘Only Coconuts’ brand
Located at Swan Creek, Marudi on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, Precision Global Inc. (PGI) manufactures a variety of coconut products. On Monday, May 09, 2022, the company attained certification to the Guyana National Bureau of Standards’ (GNBS) Made in Guyana Certification Mark for its ‘Only Coconuts’ branded products, even as it pushes towards achieving international certification.
The company commissioned its coconut processing factory before the pandemic and produced its first batch of products in August 2021. These products include Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), Coconut Flour, Desiccated Coconut, and deliciously baked Coconut Chips.
At the Certification ceremony, General Manager of the company, Lesley Ramlall said the idea of establishing a coconut processing facility in Guyana was the brainchild of the President and Chief Executive Officer of PGI, Mr. Vishnu Ramdeen, a Guyanese residing in Canada whose desire to ensure that his family eats only healthy foods and moreso for him as he traverses across Canada conducting businesses.
Over the years, the businessman realised that most of the coconut products imported into Canada were from other countries outside of the Caribbean despite the Caribbean and Guyana having an abundance of coconuts. As such, he travelled home to commence his venture.
The company operates an automatic facility which it boasts is the only one of its kind in Guyana and the Caribbean. Its annual production capacity is in excess of three (3) million coconuts which is expected to increase as it adds refined coconut oil to its brand.
According to Ramlall, the company utilises all parts of the coconuts for its production including the husks for fuel. As of now, the coconut water is the only content that is disposed but this is expected to change as PGI explores coconut cassareep.
The company employs majority of female staff and offers training on the operation of heavy machinery and equipment. The General Manager said Precision employs approximately 200 persons from surrounding communities on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway with the aim of empowering women and youths.
“On any shift, we will have approximately 80 persons in our employ of which more than 75% are women. We believe that citizens who can earn a decent wage are empowered to develop themselves and their families which will spill over to their communities and eventually the larger environment. We believe that men and women in equality must be endowed with the same dignity for a brighter future for all,” he noted.
To ensure it maintains food safety, the company is also moving to attain international certification to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and BRC (British Retail Consortium) which is an international Food Safety Management Systems standard,
As the demand for food commodities continue to increase globally, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond lauded the investment. She noted that PGI has been dubbed as having one of the most viable investments in the coconut industry.
With close to 10,000 tonnes of coconut exported in 2020, she urged them to continue innovating and investing in their business.
“We are pleased to see the company sources its key inputs from communities across the region and wider afield as far as the Essequibo coast and the Pomeroon, creating a wider impact on economic development across the country,” she said.
The Government she said, has earmarked the coconut industry as one of the key sectors for development and expansion.