|Address by the Minister of Agriculture at the Awards Ceremony of Chickmont Foods Ltd.|
|Written by Mark Byer|
|Friday, 02 July 2010 09:59|
Address by the Honourable Haynesly Benn, Minister of Agriculture at the Awards Ceremony in Recognition of Longstanding Employees of Chickmont Foods Ltd. at Ocean Park, Balls Plantation, Christ Church
on Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Edward Albecker - General Manager
Mr. Peter DeFreitas - Managing Director
Mr. and Mrs. James Paul, Mr. and Mrs. Henderson Gill
Mr. Gerald DeFreitas (Director) and Spouse
Mrs. Joyanne Ferreira (Director) and Spouse; Mr. Ayub Kola (Director)
Staff of Chickmont Foods Ltd.
Specially Invited Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a distinct pleasure for me to be here this evening, to join with you in celebrating this remarkable achievement on the part of so many of your employees. It truly warms my heart to know that there are still companies who care enough to recognize and honour employees for their invaluable contribution.
However, I will be the first to point out that such commitment can only result from management creating the type of healthy work environment that:
Management should also consider their co-workers to be friends and family, as well as take pride in the knowledge that he or she is an active participant in their company’s long term vision.
Too often the ordinary workers within an organization are forgotten or overlooked, as many companies have succumbed to the view that a company’s success is rooted solely in its managerial staff. I am proud to say that Chickmont Foods Ltd. is one such company which has always, and continues to recognize the invaluable contribution of all its employees and for that they must be applauded.
Against the backdrop of a global recession and a bleak outlook for the future, it is going to become increasingly important for organizations such as this to retain their best workers. Many people do not realize it, but job turnover is extremely expensive for any organization and becomes even more so as the company expands and is forced to increase the amount of training, time and money it invests in its employees. Hence, knowing how to retain good employees creates a less costly, more stable, productive and effective work environment.
In the last fifty years countless studies and millions of dollars have been spent to determine why employees stay in their jobs so long. I dare say that this money could have been better spent merely by carryout a study of Chickmont Foods Ltd management structure.
Over the years the Chickmont Foods Ltd. and the Ministry of Agriculture have shared a long and mutually beneficial relation. Due in no small part to the contribution of Chickmont Foods Ltd., the poultry industry has seen continued growth in production resulting in a subsequent steady decline in imports of poultry products into Barbados.
Since 1993 up to the present poultry production in Barbados has continued on an increasing trajectory. In the year 1993, production was estimated at 8.7 million kilogrammes; by the year 2008 poultry production was recorded at an estimated 14.6 million kilogrammes.
Poultry exports have also seen steady increases since 1993. Trade data has revealed that 113 kilogrammes of poultry meat was exported during 1993, however during 2008, 212.8 thousand kilogrammes of poultry meat was exported. The exports in 2008 were valued at Bds $1.7 million and represented an increase in exports by 79% over the 2007 period.
However there have been a number of challenges that have impacted negatively on the viability of the poultry industry in this country and my
Ministry has been taking steps to address these issues. The rising cost of feed has not escaped our gaze and rather than ask local poultry producers to continually absorb the increases in price, the government paid a subsidy to Pinnacle Feeds Ltd. in the early stages of the price increase to help offset the increase. Furthermore, in an effort to achieve a more longstanding solution the government will continue to collaborate with the Caribbean Poultry Association to develop CARICOM sources for the feed ingredients.
In keeping with our mission statement of transforming and repositioning the agricultural sector in Barbados through the promotion of an agri-business approaches to farming, with particular attention being paid to the effective use of resources, as well as adoption of appropriate technologies and sound management practices.
These are just some of the initiatives that my government will embark on in the near future to ensure that the poultry industry remains viable in this country. But I would also like to say that the government can only go so far. It’s up to you the dedicated staff of Chickmont Foods Ltd. To ensure that you do all in your power to guarantee the survival of the industry in Barbados.
For those of you who have reached this remarkable milestone in your working careers I implore you not to be lulled into a false sense of security for as we are all aware, in today’s society there is an increasing demand for well trained and skilled professionals, especially those of a high quality. We are living in an extremely competitive world and if one is unable able to adapt to changes and technological developments so as to maintain a competitive edge, the ultimate result is often negative fall-out, and in many companies this is occurring at an alarming rate.
It is incumbent therefore on every one of you to ensure this company’s competitiveness in the market. I challenge you to look beyond where you are now and extend your minds into the vastness of what you can still achieve. You have already proven that you can stand the test of time, and have persevered in spite of the many challenges that you faced over the years. However, I would encourage you to continue to develop yourself, take advantage of whatever programme or training facility that have been made available to you.
Rise from your comfort zone and embrace the challenge of this rapidly changing world, there is no reason why you can’t aspire to rise above your current position. Who knows how far you can go if given the opportunity and the right impetus. I am sure that there are those amongst you who still dream of greatness, who still dream of self-development and reaching your fullest potential but to dream is only the beginning you must put your dreams into action. You must tell yourself that you can do more; you have got to formulate in your minds a place or a position where you would like to see yourself in the near future and you must continue to work towards it. Do not give up now.
We are living in a world driven by unprecedented technological breakthroughs and ever accelerating change. It is therefore up to you to take responsibility for your own personal development if you are to remain viable
in the market place. Know within your self that through the process of hard work, self discipline and continuous introspection you can achieve any goal. Any opportunity afforded you today should be seen as a stepping stone to your ultimate goal, as self-development is not a destination but a journey and it will not be achieved unless you are determined to succeed. Remember the difference between the impossible and the possible lies within your own determination. Ultimately, you will be the main beneficiary of this self development exercise but those around will also benefit.Chickmont Foods Ltd as a company will benefit as it would be manned by a more qualified and dedicated staff.
I would also encourage the management of Chickmont Foods to continue investing in their human capital as having a well-trained staff is imperative for the growth of this company and by extension the growth of the industry. Well-trained, motivated and experienced workers are often more productive than their poorly trained counterparts. Continue to warm their hearts with sunlight of appreciation and emphasize the importance of team work, as people working together with a common denominator will accomplish tasks with greater ease and have higher expectations of themselves and their work.
This being said, I would like to extend on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture my hand in partnership with the management and staff of the
Chickmont Foods Ltd. and pledge continued support for the growth of this important company.
Congratulations again to all those employees on reaching this enviable milestone in their working careers.
I Thank You.