As one of the region’s top food manufacturers, Seprod Limited was definitely a distinctly memorable feature of the Made in Jamaica series. The vision of massive wheat storage silos, each holding 4,500 tons of grain, immediately upon entering the Jamaica Grain and Cereal Ltd (subsidiary of the Seprod Group) factory area, definitely helped create the lasting impression.
A tour of the extensive facilities revealed interesting bits of the multifaceted production process which provides us with goods like the Pronto Instant Cornmeal Porridge Mix, Miracle Refined Cornmeal and Miracle Hominy Porridge that we know and love. Jeffrey Moss-Solomon, general manager of Jamaica Grain and Cereals Limited, and director of the tour, showed Youthlink Seprod’s state-of-the-art technology designated for production as well as product formulation and testing.
The immense process is largely directed towards supplying primary milling corn and wheat products to our commercial Jamaican bakeries and snack producers.
“We started out with soap and edible products and ended up being one of the largest food manufacturers in the Caribbean.”
While Youthlink got a chance to see the advanced operation that the Seprod Group drives today, Marketing Manager Kerry-Ann Johnson reminded us of the growth of the company – a Jamaica-owned manufacturing outlet which was first known as Soap and Edible Products. Since the 1940s, Seprod has been developing through mergers, acquisitions and innovative strides to emerge as the powerhouse manufacturing hub it is today, employing more than 1,000 workers islandwide, with markets in 18 countries.
Some of its most successful product lines includes the Serge line, Butterkist, Betty and Ovaltine. Two of its products garnering a significant amount of youth attention is the Pronto Porridge Mix, distributed in cups and sachets, and, of course, Supligen. The Supligen brand extends comfortably into international markets such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Mauritius, East Africa. Johnson describes the star product as a ‘liquid nutritional supplement’ offered in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, Irish moss, peanut and malt flavours.
“It’s something that everyone loves, young and old alike, and it adds a little bit of energy to your day and a little bit of liquid nutrition.”
SEPROD’S YOUTH/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
As such a dynamic company in our local Jamaican market, Seprod has consistently directed efforts towards the growth and development of the youth of our nation.
Johnson shared, “Seprod has a very robust internship programme; it’s our second year running, we’re very proud of it. We had our first group of graduates last year and they have been permanently em
ployed to Seprod.”
Through Serge, Seprod also promotes a school nutrition pro gramme which visits 10-15 schools across the island.
“To push the importance of good nutrition through drinking milk, and drinking chocolate milk as a rehydration tool ... and it has been very effective, we’ve gone to the track teams.”
Another programme is directed through Seprod’s Betty brand. “A programme called ‘Betty breakfast with love’, which is a school-feeding programme that we have with Betty, and we also add a reading component to it. It’s something that we see the joy [it brings] – it’s really good when you interact with children through food, through nutrition, through health, through community; it’s really, really enriching.”
Tertiary institutions are not to be left out as Seprod sponsors a scholarship programme with the University of Technology. It has been enacted through the ‘Best Buns’ competition for two years in a row, giving prizes and scholarships for excellence in baking.