WINERA Explains Banana Carton Unavailability – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The Windward Islands (WINERA) Packaging Company Limited, as part of our Strategic Plan and our commitment to continuous improvement undertook a major (multi-million dollar) investment in upgrading our Corrugator.

This upgrade is expected to generate many benefits including improved plant productivity and efficiency and an increase in plant capacity.

This project commenced in August 2023 with the initial procurement of the machinery and is still ongoing with installation at 85% stage of completion.

The machinery is expected to be commissioned in April 2024.

As part of the management of this project and in order to adequately plan for the shut down of our machinery, Winera communicated with its customers to obtain their projections that would allow the company to produce the boxes in advance of the Corrugator downtime which commenced on February 25th.

Despite our efforts we encountered machine-related challenges in meeting the production timeframe and consequently, the company resorted to the purchase of containerloads of sheets from the Dominican Republic in order to satisfy the demand of all customers including the banana farmers.

Unfortunately, the shipment is late due to shipping and logistics issues. The sheets are therefore expected to arrive during the second week of April upon which time they will be converted into cartons for use by customers.

Winera Ltd. has been a strategic partner of the banana industry for over fifty years. The company maintains an inventory of cartons for banana farmers.

Despite the significant decline in this sector, Winera’s commitment has not wavered. In the past, the company

worked harmoniously with WINFRESH in obtaining regular updates on industry trends, carton developments and, most importantly, projected volumes and carton requirements. The absence of such a coordinating institution is very challenging, as projected volumes are not always forthcoming.

We remain committed to supporting our farmers and we are confident that the situation will normalize during the coming weeks.

We thank you for your understanding and remain committed to continuing partnering with you.

SOURCE: Windward Islands Packaging Company Limited