After concluding a recent visit to the CaneCo/Renegade Rum facility currently under construction at Conference, St Andrew, Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford commended the investors for employing a number of men from the community.
CaneCo is a $40 million project aimed at creating a state of the art distillery to produce a premiere rum for export purposes. Construction of this facility is 80% complete, with over 90% of the staff being local, most of which are from the community of Conference.
Minister Bain-Horsford explained what impressed her most about the visit to the project site. “What intrigued me most…the people from the area are employed here. The head guy who is doing the fermentation, he is from the area here…and all of the other little guys that are working here, are little mechanics in the community. They started their own mechanical thing at home, they have the skill and they are now showing up their potential right here and that is amazing. I want to commend the owners of this facility for involving the community,” she remarked.
The minister noted that it is a win-win situation for all. “It is safer for them because when you involve the community, you feel safe; the community is with you. You are helping to improve and enhance the community by training and improving the lives of the people in the surrounding and they too would look after you; they would look after your project, ensure that the security is in place and all of that. Our people are very comfortable. I have spoken to a few of them and they feel that they have learnt a lot while they are here,” she stated.
Local Director of Renegade Rum and CaneCo, Graham Williams, confirmed the minister’s statement, saying that less than one percent of the workforce are foreigners. “This has had a tremendous effect, I think, on the rural economy of Grenada already and we foresee this to continue. We will see many spinoffs from this distillery and this project. Already we have seen people in the area benefit from us being here. We hire people primarily from the rural areas, CaneCo has over 150 employees. This distillery will have close to 40 and [out of all that we have three foreigners employed here. So, less than one percent of our workforce is foreigners,” Williams said.
Looking ahead, CaneCo foresees more benefits going to different individuals and industries across the island.