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Guyana is a large producer of coconuts with close to 10,000 tonnes of the fruit exported in 2020. Over the years, scientific research has led to heightened awareness of the nutritional, health and other benefits of coconut and its by-products, leading more persons to get into the cultivation and processing of the nuts.
Recognising the potential for the development of this local industry, coupled with a need for healthier foods, an overseas-based Guyanese, Vishnu Ramdeen in 2013 decided to open a coconut processing facility. He established Precision Global Inc. (PGI), at Swan Creek, Marudi on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway which manufactures various products under its ‘Only Coconuts’ brand. “When we say only coconuts, we mean only coconuts. We are not processing any other nuts because people may have nut allergies,” Ramdeen noted.
PGI officially began production in 2019 and has grown to become a leading producer of value-added coconut products for export and local consumption. The agro-processing facility has a capacity to process 85,000 coconuts per day, utilizing all parts of the fruit including the husk for fuel. The company employs approximately 85 employees from the surrounding communities on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
Determined to ensure that the products demonstrate the highest level of quality, PGI began pursuing the Made in Guyana Certification, and on May 09, 2022, attained certification to use the GNBS Made in Guyana Certification Mark. It was among the first three companies to meet all the requirements to become certified.
PGI’s products, which now carries the Certification Mark, include low-carb gluten-free Coconut Flour, coconut chips which are baked to make them a healthy alternative snack, and refined coconut oil for cooking. The company also manufactures desiccated or dry coconut in a grated form, useful when baking pastries and other similar products.
The Chief Financial Officer of PGI, Ravi Annand noted that the decision to pursue certification from the GNBS was premised on the need to produce quality products.
“In this business if you are not careful, a lot of things can go wrong. Food safety and quality are key aspects that must be looked at and worked on deliberately, they do not come by accident; and we want to bring the best for consumers,” he said.
Mr. Annand added that “the more people can validate that we are doing what we need to do to make good quality food available, I think that tells the story and enhances the marketability of our products.”
Currently, the company is also pursuing certification to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.
Meanwhile, Vice President (Finance) of PGI, Lesley Ramlall who is based at Marudi, noted that attainment of the certification “definitely” enhances consumer confidence both locally and internationally. Further he said, “as a company, what it does for us is to ensure that we continue to stick to those principles which are guided by GNBS to ensure that we are meeting our demands on a daily basis.”
Ramlall said the response from the GNBS was “very heartening” as the process was thoroughly explained and made easier through constant communication. As such, the businessman is encouraging others to pursue the GNBS’ Certification Programme.
“Here you have an entity that is ensuring that at least certain requirements are met…and guaranteeing the consumers that quality is there, and the manufacturing process is an efficient one. On that note, I would encourage any company to join the GNBS Certification programme,” Ramlall posited.
The Made in Guyana Certification Mark is a registered mark that aims to provide recognition to locally manufactured products on the local and international markets and is a signature of quality for authentic Guyanese Products. The Certification is valid for a period of one year pending renewal based on the company’s ability to maintain the requirements of the programme.
Application form to join the Certification Programme can be found via GNBS website https: https://gnbsgy.org/forms-all/ For more information, contact our Certification Services Department on 219-0064-66 or email email@example.com (Feature Provided by GNBS)