Everglades Farms entry into Trelawny brings both an economic and social responsibility agenda to the region. Trelawny is noted for sugar production and subsequently many townships depend on the sugar estates for economic viability. Failure in sugar futures can, and have had, devastating consequences for the region not only economically, but also on the social fabric of the region. It is the intent of Everglades Farms to build a more sustainable infrastructure that allows for diversification in employment type and fosters an atmosphere that creates incentives for local business development. This intent is demonstrated in the product mixes and cross-synnergies identified in it’s business plan. The benefits that Everglades Farms Ltd. hope to derive are:
Environment: Environmental policies to cover issues such as energy efficient plant, equipment and operations, electrical co-generation from renewable fuels, water conservation, storm water management, mitigation of airborne pollutants, waste reduction, recycling and educating children through local schools programs to care for their environment.
Partner initiatives: The company has a programme to educate cane farmers in the proper planting and care of sugar cane and has encouraged employees to become independent business operators. The estate also encourages local banks to provide loans to responsible contractors and has provided assistance both financially and in agricultural products to responsible farmers in the region.
Customer initiatives: Everglades Farms is actively pursuing green initiative programs with its customer base. A program currently under review is the “Green Label” program in Europe where cane farmers can get an additional 20% in crop income by planting, growing and harvesting cane to certain prescribed “Green Standards”. Other initiatives discourages cane farmers from the practice of cane burning to the cutting of green cane which significantly reduce CO2 emissions and otherparticulates into the atmosphere.
Community: Everglades community initiatives include an education focus that allows research students on site, running outreach programmes, supporting HEART apprenticeships and providing opportunities for college students to build houses for estate and displaced workers during Spring Break. Orginazations such as Engineers and Architects without borders have partnered with the business in our “Sugar Worker Housing Program”. Everglades charity work includes providing equipment and other supplies to schools and allowing staff to assist schools and charities.