Minister for Co-operatives Hon. Yolande Bain Horsford has hailed the resilience and longevity of the Minor Spices Co-operative Marketing Society, during a recent award ceremony to commemorate its 50 years of service.
The Minister described the 1971 founders of the Co-operative as pioneers.
In presenting the award to Minor Spices, Minister Bain-Horsford urged others to look to the Co-operative as an example of resilience and longevity, especially with the ongoing negative impact caused by the global pandemic. She said, “We have seen businesses finding it difficult to continue to operate under the current conditions with the co-operative sector being no exception. The question that needs to be asked is ‘What will the next 50 years hold for this Co-operative?’ I must say that you are ahead of the curve in that you can pull from your 50 years of experience to mitigate against whatever negatives issues that will come your way.”
The Co-operatives Minister commended the management and staff of Minor Spices for their agile thinking to diversify its operations into short-crop farming after its revenue took a massive hit when the tourism industry halted due to the pandemic. “This is a testament to the dedication of the management and staff of this institution,” she said. “They have shown their commitment and initiative as they continue to work, even when their wages were cut short due to the implementation of a rotation system. This is very commendable.”
Minor Spices was formed in 1971, and has evolved from only marketing spices on behalf of farmers, into an agri-tourism business that has been prominently featured in various travel itineraries and on international websites like the Grenada Tourism Authority, Trip Advisor, and Expedia under the name “Laura Herb and Spice Garden.” Visitors and locals can experience a tour of their garden which sits on over 8 acres of lush vegetation in Laura Land, St David.
Mary Barry began her journey as an employee at Minor Spices in 1999. The past 2 decades have seen her blossom from a junior employee into the Manager of the institution which she helped grow into a leading tourism site and regional producer of spices. She recounted that “Working in co-operatives is very hectic, but an enjoyable experience.” “Once you appreciate what you have and fulfill the purpose that you are set out to fulfill. And that I did, with the thoughts along the way, that with God everything is possible.”
She thanked various organisations and individuals who supported Minor Spices, especially her team stating, “We struggled, although things might be hard, but you accept every challenge that faces us with grace, and with that I want to say thank you. It would not have possible without you. I pray for continued blessing on behalf of us, for [us] to continue to be a team, a small family, [with] very effective results.”
The award ceremony was fittingly held at the Minor Spices property with the beautiful backdrop of the garden and was well-executed, after which the Minister and other Officials were taken on a tour of the garden and facility.
The Minister was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Fisheries and Co-operatives Michael Stephen; the Acting Registrar of Co-operatives Merryl Phillip Sylvester; staff from the Department of Co-operatives and representatives from the Grenada Co-operative League Ltd.