Sunday 24 May, 2020

CB invests $30 million to fast track recovery of restaurant sector

Chief Operating Officer of the CB Group, Matthew Lyn.

Chief Operating Officer of the CB Group, Matthew Lyn.

In a bid to galvanize the revival of the local restaurant industry CB Group has launched “Recover Together”, a $30 million initiative that will offer recovery support to over 2,300 restaurants and cookshops across the nation.

As the economy rebounds, "Recover Together" will assist restaurants to reopen their doors and re-employ thousands of direct and indirect employees who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus (COVIA-19).

The package will include flexible credit terms and product discounts of 10 per cent to 20 per cent to ease the financial burden of the last three months, as well as marketing support to re-engage the dining public.

The food services industry has been one of the hardest hit by the economic fallout over these past few months with over 700 cook shops, restaurants, fast food outlets and food vendors having to close their doors and with those remaining open experiencing on average a 60 per cent decline in business.

Chief Operating Officer of the CB Group, Matthew Lyn, said, “With an estimated 50,000 employed in this industry, we understand how vital our restaurants are to our economy and the crucial role they play in the sustainability of so many spin-off industries like farming, attractions and tourism. So when a quarter of our customers said they could not reopen without support and another 65 per cent said they could use a jumpstart we knew we had to step up.”

The restaurant recovery package will become available to customers from June 1 and will last until July 31.

CB Foods is the consumer foods division that markets and distributes fresh and value-added meats from its vertically integrated processing operations.

Phase one will also drive business to some restaurants islandwide as the CB Group will contract them to show its appreciation to 25,000 frontline workers throughout Jamaica.

In this initial phase will take the form of meals, gift baskets and restaurant gift certificates distributed to doctors, nurses, security, media, utilities and sanitation and transportation workers, who the company deems to have played essential roles during the lockdown.

“This two-pronged initiative comes from a place of gratitude and always wanting to make a difference,” said Lyn. “On the one hand we have our restaurants that are struggling to pay rent and keep their employees, these are our customers who have been there for us over the years and now we have a chance to thank them for that loyalty. On the other hand, we have all our essential workers, our doctors, nurses, security forces, sanitation workers who have kept the wheels of this country churning while under lockdown and they too deserve our appreciation.”

The “Recover Together” programme follows on the heels of the CB led campaign, “Say Yes To Fresh” which has created waves throughout Jamaica and was instrumental in sensitizing Jamaicans to the need to support local farmers.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry and Fisheries (MICAF), the campaign helped farmers sell over $700 million in farm produce over the last two months.

“When we conceptualized Say Yes To Fresh with MICAF the objective was to make a difference for the farmers,” added Lyn.

He further shared “Collaboration and partnerships are important, and Say Yes to Fresh is a testament to this, where the public and private sector came together for a national cause, which should outlive COVID, and become a way of life for us.”

CB Group is primarily involved in sustainable agriculture with three main business lines – CB Foods, Newport Mills and Imagination Farms.

CB Foods is the consumer foods division that markets and distributes fresh and value-added meats from its vertically integrated processing operations. Newport Mills deals with livestock, animal feeds and the animal health services division that supports the small, independent farming community.

Imagination Farms is a fresh produce division that concentrates on import substitution and export of fresh produce by developing local supply chains and West India Sea Island Cotton.

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