Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Gordon “Butch” Stewart has urged farmers in Grenada to produce more agriculture products as there is a market for it in the country.
Speaking to reporters at a recent ceremony held to mark the start of work on additional rooms at the Sandals/LaSource resort, the Jamaican business tycoon said if the local farmers provide more quality products the need to import will be less.
According to Stewart, the resort will be inclined to purchase from local farmers more of their fruits and vegetables resulting in less importation on their part.
He spoke of getting a request from General Manager of the resort, Peter Fraser, who said he would like to get more locally produce items from farmers.
Stewart said if the request is heeded and the resort receives more locally grown fresh items from the farmers then that will be beneficial to all concerned.
He gave assurances that Sandals/LaSource is prepared to do business with the farming community in Grenada.
“…(if) we meet somebody down the road who has good quality tomatoes or good quality food of any kind, it’s our job to do business with them and it’s our job to help where we can,” he said.
The hotel tycoon stated that his outfit, which controls several all-inconclusive hotels around the Caribbean, has been working over the years with farmers in Jamaica to get quality local produce.
“To a large extent in Jamaica we pioneered the coordination of working with the farmers. The farming communities in the islands, a lot of them, they tend to be very fragmented and there’s a man that has a farm down the road but produces some stuff and another man further down the road but to pull it together so that they can plan or we can plan takes a little effort”, he said.
Coordination he said, is the job of the resort, to assist farmers and others to produce good quality fruits and vegetables and other agricultural products for use in the hotel sector.
“There’s nothing like fresh fruit. The people that come here live a very good life … pretty high standard … where they come from. Those that like fruits are accustomed to having really good fruit and they can pick and choose”, he added.
Stewart went on to say: Coming here is not the cheapest … so you’re not looking at people (who …. by chance came here and by chance are willing to eat anything that you serve them.
“…One of the worst things that you can do to somebody from North America is to offer stake for example that’s below par … they probably won’t come back to us. Food has become so important to people that the world has changed…
“Our customers they have a lifestyle more and more to eat different things of quality, they want a balance diet where they have vegetables, fruits, all the various stuff that makes up a meal – three meals plus a day.