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Revitalising Soufriere Copra Factory……. Creating employment for locals

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Wednesday, August 31, 2011 – Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Honourable Stephenson King has articulated government`s plan to assist in revitalising the  Soufriere Copra Factory to create  more employment for locals while increasing the country’s economic fortunes.



So far, through the efforts of Tourism Minister Honourable Allan Chastanet Dominican Engineers have serviced damaged equipment for the reopening of the factory which was closed due to the effects of Hurricane Tomas.


The Prime Minister says government will invest in developing a proper business plan to get the factory back in full swing.  “We have began to work on it to assist the coconut growers who are involved with the association to provide them with the necessary guarantees so that they can pull themselves out of the financial difficulty they are in and to re-energise and develop the Copra Industry to the high standard it was may years ago and for me this is important because if we can employ two or three hundred people in Soufriere through the factory we would be creating a serious dent in the unemployment situation in the town.  For me this is an investment worth going into and its one government can consider to be an investment in the people of Saint Lucia.”


At present the factory employs twenty one residents of Soufriere and has the capacity to produce thirty bottles of coconut oil every minute or six hundred cases of bottle oil daily.    Prime Minister says he is optimistic that we government support the factory can get back to glory days when it employed over two hundred people.


Gerald Morris, explains that there are currently forty small farmers producing Copra which is bought by the factory.    “If we get the finances we can buy more copra from the farmers and produce more oil.    Presently we are getting calls from England, Jamaica and from the OECS countries as well because right now coconut oil is in very short supply and we getting calls from countries around the world who want to purchase our oil, so I am hoping that we got the assistance from government to re-employ our staff and increase our staff numbers and most importantly purchase material and spare parts for the equipment,”   said.


Mr. Morris believes that with government’s support the factory will definitely resume production of cake margarine, shortening and dish washing liquid.

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