WIBISCO General Manager, Adrian Padmore.
BUSINESS MONDAY - Eye on expansion
Mon, 12/12/2016 - 12:00am
General Manager: Wibisco going after Cuban market
WITH a doubling of its export sales over the last 15 years, the West India Biscuit Company (WIBISCO) will be going after more markets for its products.
General Manager Adrian Padmore has given this upbeat outlook in an interview with Business Monday.
He said that WIBISCO currently exports to some 20 markets in the Caribbean, USA and Canada, and that come next year they hope to begin doing business with Cuba, where the company has done considerable work to create a presence there.
Padmore also spoke about the export thrust of WIBISCO and winning one of the recent Caribbean Exporters award organised by Caribbean Export.
Saying WIBISCO has been working on the Cuban market for a while, the General Manager explained that Cuba is a fascinating country where they have done quite a few market
visits, meeting with the Cuban authorities.
According to him, “We have attended their annual trade show as an exhibitor last year and again this year. So we really have been introducing ourselves and our products to Cuba. The people of Cuba who have tasted our products think they are of a good quality, and we believe they like them.”
He noted further that the products will do well in Cuba.
“We have gone through all the regulatory requirements and met and satisfied all the requirements,” he stated.
Addressing some of the factors which resulted in the company winning a Caribbean Exporter of the Year award, the general manager said that WIBISCO has been exporting for many, many years. The company’s flagship export brand is Shirley biscuits.
“Over the last 15 years, my management team and I have focused steadfastly on building an export culture in this company. So all 230 of our staff understand that we are manufacturing in Barbados primarily for exports,” he said.
“Our exports have gone from around 30 per cent of sales to just below 60 per cent of sales over that 15 year period. So we have been steadily building exports and consolidating our position in traditional export markets and looking for new markets,” he stated.
“So the Caribbean Exporter of the Year award for 2015/20167 recognises what the team at WIBISCO has been doing in changing our business and focusing on being more competitive outside of Barbados,” Padmore explained.
"The company is at the stage where every single requirement has been met and we are in a position where we are ready to start trading as soon as Cuba is ready to start trading with us,” Padmore added.
While there is competition in the local market, the WIBISCO GM said that they have done a lot of work with their packaging to make sure it is up to international standard and that the products can stand on their own next to any imported item.