Volume 7 Nu'aber 4
For The Week Ending February 24th 1979
7th Year of Publication - 202nd. Issue
MINOR SPICES CO-OP FACES FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
The bankers of Minor Spices Co-Operative Marketing Society Ltd
(MSCMS) have placed a ceiling on the Society's unsecured
overdraft and this is creating serious trading difficulties for
The Report of the MSCMS Committee of Management for the year.
ended September 30th last discloses that the Society's operations
are financed mainly by bank overdraft and other short term loans.
"We operate in high priced produce", a source cloqe to the Society
told NEWSLETTER, "and we need some EC$50 thousand available if we
are to trade satisfactorily."
Since last May, application for a EC$6 thousand loan was made to
the Government operated Grenada Agricultural & Industrial
Development Corporation. This has not been received and the
Report of the Committee of Management says the application was
NEWSLETTER is reliably informed, however, that this loan was
tentatively approved last December. The Corporation's legal
representative is understood to be still studying the Society's
Sby-laws, and the loan may receive.final approval shortly.
MSCMS was registered on June 15th 1971 when 7 members took over
from the operations of the Grenada Inter-Church Cogncil. Those
Produced & Printed by Aliast a Cynt i awgio~
P 0 Box 65, St.Georges, Grenada, 4Wotindles
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER- Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 2
operations began in 1969 with the purchase and shipment of spices
(other than nutmegs and mace) and, in 1971, the venture was
sufficiently developed to be handed over to the spice producers
By 1975, membership had risen to 153, this figure junped to 265 in
1977 and, last year, it stood at 314. In 1976, the Net Trading
Surplus was EC$8,276.91, it moved to EC$13,904.28 in 1977 but fell
back to BC$11,666.02 last year.
The Committee of Management expresses concern over the surplus
available and says that, after BC$2,916.51 has been appropriated
for the Statutory Reserve Fund, and BC$43.46 for dividend on unit
shares, only EC$8,706.05 remains for distribution. "After very
careful consideration", the Committee's Report says, "it is proposed
to supplement this amount from current earnings by EC$17,583.07, to
make the distributable sum EC$26,289.12."
In addition to the Society's difficulties resulting from a shortage
of cash, it faces competition from two or three big exporters.
Grenada's major spice crop is nutmeg and this is marketed through a
Statutory Body, thereby avoiding local competition and ensuring
best prices on the world market. A source close to the Society
told NEWSLETTER that informal consideration was given to the
possibility of approaching Government tp establish a similar Statutory
Body to market minor spices, but this idea was discarded.
"Members considered it would be unwise to take this step", the
source said. "When it was considered that Government has now
taken control of all the producer cooperatives operating under
Statutory Bodies the Nutmeg Association, Cocoa Association and
Banana Society it was felt that, if Government established a
Statutory Body for minor spices, producers might lose control here
The spices handled by the Society are Cinnamon, Cloves, Clovestems
and Pimento, and'1978 sales were, respectively, 5,460,16s, 2,000 lbs,
3,340 Ibs and 410 Ibs. Total gross sales realized EC$54,531.94.
SCanada, Argentina and Holland are the Society's principal buyers of
ICloves, Clovestems and Pimento, while Guyana, Barbados and Suriname
THE GRBNADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79
take the bulk of the Cinnamon crop.
NBWSLsTTER is advised that there isj a worlo demand for Ginger, ,lack
SPepper, Tumeric and Vanilla Beans, but, while these ~ pps are grown
in Grenada, production is too small to interest buyers. It has
been estimated, for instance, that betw oun 20 and 30 thousand pounds
each of Ginger and Tumeric could be P.'aced easily, but only some five
thousand pounds are available annually of each of these products.
Sources close to the Society express thp opinion. that the
organisation is now "at the cross-roads" an t.at. 1979 will be a
critical period for it. The opinion was expressed that MSCMS
could develop much more to play a valuable role in Grenada's economy,
but the handicaps which beset it will first have to be overcome.
SUGAR FACTORY STARTS GRINDING
The Grenada Sugar Factory Ltd began grinding .eat- on Tuesday
(20th) and, while the forecast is for a sn'llr .rc;: 1h.is year than
last, indications are that recovery of sugar fp- :on .f cane will be
better. This was disclosed today (23rd) to NEWSLETTER in an
exclusive interview with Mr D M B Cromwell, Managing Director of the
"We started to receive canes on Monday (19th)", he said, "and, ioom
what we have already processed, it appears that the juice is a lot
purer than last year and our return is likely to be better than what
we had in 1978". Mr Cromwell said the current drought may have a
influence on increasing the sugar content of the canes, but he though
the overall crop would be smaller. "As far as I can see", he said
"cane farmers have less acres under cultivation now and, besides,
some areas have been attacked seriously by 'frog-hoppers"'
The 'frog-hopper' is a small grey insect of the Cercotidal family,
The 'nymphst feed on the sap of the roots while the adults feed on
the sap of the leaves. The action of the adults kills the leaves
which results in a reduction of photosynthetic activity and so a
reduction in yield.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79e -
The Grenada Sugar Factory grows no canes but, by arrangement,
processes produce from some 500 cane farmers banded together in
the Grenada Cane Farmers Association. Currently, canes are
bought by the Company from the farmers at EC$40 per ton and, at the
end of the crop, farmers receive 54% of the net profits in the form
of a 'bonus'. This arrangement came into effect in 1977 and the
'bonus' in that year was EC$8.63 per ton. Considerable'
dissatisfaction was created among farmers last year, however, whe
the 'bonus' fell to EC$3.77 per ton.
Government intervened in this matter, there were indications that
the Company would be acquired and Police were stationed in the yard
of the Sugar Factory. The matter was resolved last'December when,
on the advice of the Company's Auditors, an ex gratia payment was
made to the cane farmers which was done, according to the Managing
Director, to avoid "political repercussions"
This.payment resulted in a total bonus of EC$9.31 per ton being
paid to farmers, but Mr Cromwell told NEWSLETTER that that brought
to an end the 'gentlemen's agreement' between the Company and the
Cane Farmers Association. "Whereas we operated rather loosely
in the past", he said, "we now have a formal agreement which will
be operated on a strict business basis."
The Company's prospects are not attractive. Agricultural sources
advise that it is uneconomical to operate a factory handling less
than 25,000 tons of cane per annum and this has not been available
since 1957 In that year, 27,020 tons were handled, in 1959,
the factory processed 23,253 tons and, since then, the highest figure
has been 18,988 tons in 1967. The lowest annual tonnage, 2,889,
was had in 1974 and the tonnage last year was:11,283.
The same sources say that sugar cane producers expect a return of
one ton of sugar from between seven and ten tons of cane ground.
The best recorded return for the Company was in 1955 when one ton
of sugar was produced from 9.866 tons of cane. Outside of-
that year, between 1951 and 1968, the number of tons of cane
Required to produce one ton of sugar varied between 10.139 and
12.474, but, from the 1970s, this figure took a sharp upward
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 5
turn. In 1978, it was 19.353.
HUBBARDS PROPOSES 12 I% DIVIDEND
All forecasts of Grenada's major indusLzies, agriculture and tourism,
are favourable, and it seems that th; upward trend in business
established over the past years should be maintained during the
current trading year.
This opinion is expressed by Mr A A Browne, Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Jonas Browne & Hubbard Ltd. In the "Review"
published with the audited accounts of the Company, Mr Browne says
the trading results of the Company for 1978 reflect improvement in
the position of the Company and the general improvement in the
economy of the country.
"Sales were up by 27.5%", the Chairman says, "and profit, before tax,
by 24.45%." He disclosed that the profits ii;; .iid have been
better but for two factors. One is +h:." resv'" the Company's
supermarket in St.Georges were not up to e.sti-,.an a.:d reflect
The other factor lies in taxation and the international monitory
situation. "The increase of 2% in the Foreign Exchange Tax plus
the weakness of the US dollar, to which our currency is linked,
caused us substantial exchange losses in respect of foreign currency
transactions", Mr Browne said.:
This business, one of the oldest in Grenada, started in this island
about 1837. In 1915, it was turned into a limited liability
company, A Hubbard & Co Ltd, and, by L940, control had passed to
the Browne family of England.
In 1947, A Hubbard & Co Ltd was amalgamated with the British import/
export firm of Jonas Browne & Sons, and the new Company was
incorporated in England under the name of Jonas Brovme & Hubbard Ltd
The Grenada business of Jonas Browne & Hubbard Ltd was sold to
Grenadian shareholders in 1972. Of an authorised capital of
600,000 shares of BC$10 each, 294,128 were fully paid up and, last
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 6
year, the Company offer d 200,000 of the remaining shares.
"I would like to be able to say that, like other issues in
neighboring Caribbean islands such as Trinidad, the issue was
over subscribed within a day", Mr Browne said in his Review.
"This was pot the case but, to date, 117,461 new shares, or in
terms of dollars, EC$1,174,610, have been issued."
Mr Browne said that, while this is not an 'unqualified success"',-.
it is considered by the Company's Directors to be a satisfactory.
reflection of public confidence in the Company.
A General Meeting of the Company's shareholders has been summoned '
for February 28th and will consider th emmnation of h
SALES & PROFIT AFtER TAX
Directors that a dividend of It
121%, less income tax, be paid. Year"" Tax(EC) Ratio
1972 9,324,816 _2 0,976 3.12%6
Referring to this, Mr Browne 1972 9,324,816 9O,976 3.12%
1973 9,453,205 267,523 2.83%
said that, with the need to find 1974 7,696,327 108,233 1.41%
increased capital for the ever 1975 8,452,960 163,107 1.93%
'rising cost of goods, it is 1976 10,283,195 313,834 3.05%
L1977 14,290,202 554,737 3.90%
essential that a substantial 1978 18,219,857 705,241 3.90%
proportion of the Company's profits be retained.
"With this in view", he said, "the Directors recommend payment of a
12i% dividend, less tax, and that the balance of EC$454,248 be added
to the retained earnings of the Company."
The audited accounts of the Company show a 1978 increase. of 274% in
gross sales and commissions over the 1977 figure. The ratio of
profit-after-tax to sales remains at 3.9% but, because of higher
:. sales, gross profit was up to EC$3.9 million, which is nearly
21% higher than in the previous year. Net income in 1978,
after paying income tax, is just short of BC$3 million, and this
is an increase of 27% over 1977.
Sources close to the Company express the opinion that the Company's
Position will continue to improve and that 1979 will be another
j(see page 7 for Statement of Earnings & Retained Earnings)'
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 7
[ ..JONAS BROWNE & HUBBARD LTD
STATEMENT OF EARNINGS AND RETAINED EARNINGSEC$
i*1 1--;5 '14,290,'203i
1 18;419;857 O14,290,203
Gross Sales & Commissions
Less Cost of Sales
Direct Expenses 1,485,
General & Administrative
Interest Expense 428,
Net Operating Income
Plus Other Income
Interest Received 8,
Gain on disposal of
fixed assets 6,
Gain on realisation of
Rents received 97,
Less provision for Income Tax
I NET INCOME FOR YEAR
Less proposed dividend @ 121% (1977 -10%)
Retained earnings @ beginning of year
RETAINED EARNINGS @ END OF YEAR
GCNA MANAGER IN FAR EAST
The Manager of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA),
Mr Robin Renwick, is now on an extended 'tour of the Par East The
trip, which has been described as "market promotion and
investigational", began on January 27th, and Mr Renwick is not
expected back before the latter half of March.
First stop of the tour was London, from which city Mr Renwick left
for the Far East on February 7th. Arriving at Hong Kong the
following day, Mr Renwick is today (23rd) still in that city where
he will spend some three weeks before flying tq Jakata in Indonesia
on February 27th. In Indonesia, he will visit Manado also and
will fly to Singapore on March 3rd.
Mr Renwick's Far East trip will conclude on'March 7th when he leaves
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Iage 8
Singapore for Vancouva, British Columbia, Canada, flyinG via Tokyo.
NEWSLETTER understands that Mr Renwick will have a short holiday
in Canada before returning home.
Nutmegs were introduced into Grenada from Indonesia just before
the middle of the last century. British agriculturists, sent
to Indonesia from the West Indies to up-grade sugar production,
brought back nutmeg seeds as curiosities. They were planted
in several islands of the Eastern Caribbean but were not grown
When disease struck Indonesia's nutmeg plantations in the mid
1850s, agriculturists in Grenada extended their nutmeg plantings
Sand, by the 1880s, the island had an export crop. Since then,
nutmegs have played a major part in Grenada's economy and earned
EC$16 million gross in 1978.
Mr Renwick's tour of the Far East is believed to be the outcome of
comments made by the Interim Nutmeg Board in its Report for the year
ended 30th June 1978. The Board: said the demand for nutmegs
had fallen off considerably and prices were depressed because of
heavy offers being made from abundant stocks by competitors in
Singapore and Indonesia.
"Efforts are continuing to initiate dialogue with Indonesia with a
view to examining the possibilities of some form of closer
marketing cooperation between,,the two countries", the Report said,
and the stabilisation of market prices for the eventual benefit
of the farmers of both countries."
LEGAL AID CLINICS FOR GRENADA
Two Legal Aid Clinics are to be set up in Grenada shortly. One
will be located in St.Georges, the other in the island's second
town of Grenville, and their direction will be under the charge of
'Grenadian barrister, Mr Tillman Thomas.
'.his information was disclosed to NEWSLETTER on Monday (19th) in
:n exclusive interview with Mr Maurice Bishop, Grenada Director of
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 9
the Caribbean Human Rights.& Legal Aid Company (CHRLAC). Mr Bishop
said a meeting of CHRLAC in Suriname on January 26th and 27th had
made the decision to launch the clinics, and a formal opening is to
be made soon.
"These two clinics will bring to five the number of Legal Aid Clinics
in the English Speaking Caribbean", Mr Bishop said, the other three
being located in Montego Bay, Kingston and Georgetown."
According to Mr Bishop, while the Grenada Legal Aid Clinics are to be
launched under the auspices of CHRLAC, they are to be autonomous and
will be required to raise their own funds. He felt that aid
would be obtained from international Bodies, and he hoped that legal
men in Grenada would volunteer to give some of their time to the
CHRLAC EXPRESSES SHOCK
The Caribbean Human Rights & Legal Aid Company (CHRLAC) is "shocked
that the Government of Grenada has actively supported Barclays Bank
International's stand in refusing to recognize the Bank & General
Workers Union (BGWU)".
CHRLAC's shock is expressed in a resolution passed at a seminar of
the Company held in Suriname on 26th and 27th January, and, on
Monday (19th), in an exclusive interview with Mr Maurice Bishop,
CHRLAC's Grenada Director, Mr Bishop said the Resolution condemned
Barclays' action and called on the Bank to "cease the victimisatio
of all workers and to recognize BGWU"
The Resolution also called on Government to "cease all harassment of
these workers, desist from making public statements against the
struggle of said workers and their Union,and use its power to get
Barclays Bank International to recognize the trade union of the
Since last October, Barclays' employees have been trying'.
unsuccessfully to gain recognition for their Union, the BGWU. Checks
by both the Labour Commissio.er and the Grenada Conference of Churches
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 10
proved that the Union represents a majority of the workers employed
by the Bank, but, to date, the .Bank has withheld recognition.
Prime Minister Gairy had branded the Union- as "Communist" and has
Publicly upbraided the Christian Churches fbr'interesting
Ithemselvesin an industrial matter. He suggested that the time
of the Heads of Churches could be better spent in reestablishingg
'some sort of discipline and decorum in the Church ...."
The CHRLAC seminar in Suriname had as its theme, "Political Cases
of the 1970s", and Mr Bishop told NEWSLETTER that, among others,
the review of cases included notable cases from Guyana, Antigua,
Grenada, Dominica and Trinidad & Tobago.
Mr Bishop said the seminar passed a further Resolution referring to
Grenada. This Resolution concerned violations of human rights
and said CHRLAC recognized "growing tendencies of oppression in the
region, and Grenhda in particular."
iThe Resolution referred to the mysterious disappearance of five
Grenadians, and called on the Grenada Government to institute inquiries
immediately into these disappearances. These five disappearances are
of four young men from Grenada's sister island of Carriacou in March
1977,and an Inspector of Police last December.
As far as can be ascertained, no inquiries have yet been undertaken
by the Police into these disappearances.
NJM CARS SEARCHED
Members of the opposition New Jewel Movement (NJM) had their cars
searched for arms and ammunition by the Police last Sunday (18th).
The incident took place at night in the west coast town of
Gouyave as the cars were returning from an NJM public meeting at
ISauteurs at Grenada's northernmost point.
IAmong those searched were Members of the House of Representatives,
Messrs Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman, and Senator Kendrick Radix.
It is reported that the Police did not'have a warrant and that
thingg was found. (87 words)
.. __________________s g : _______________
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 11
GEF COMPLETES SEMINARS
Two seminars organised by the Grenada Employers Federation (GEF) in
cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), were'
completed this week.
SThe first, involving Heads of Departments in commercial firms, ran
for 10 days and included such subjects as Management by Objectives
and Budgetary Conttols. The second seminar was attended by top
management personnel who examined current trends and problems in
finance, industrial relations and other key areas of concern to
In an exclusive interview today (23rd) with NEWSLETTER, Mrs Angela
Smith, GEF President said the seminars had been conducted by
Mr M N Yoga of ILO. Mrs Smith said he had been assisted by
personnel from the local business community and trade union
During his stay in Grenada, Mr Yoga discussed with GEF plans for
further development sessions.
BRITISH INFORMATION OFFICER VISITS
Mr Peter Penfold, Second Secretary and Information Officer of the
British High Commission in Trinidad & Tobago, arrived in Grenada on
an official visit last week end. He returned to Trinidad on
:DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS ESTABLISHED WITH VATICAN
It was announced last Saturday (17th) that diplomatic relations
have been established between Grenada and the Vatican. The
announcement, made over Radio Grenada, did not state the date on
which these relations became effective.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 12
BANANA QUALITY IMPROVED
There has been a general improvement in the quality of bananas shipped
from the Windward Islands. This is disclosed in a recent release
from the Windward Islands Banana Association (WINBAN), and this
improvement is attributed to the success of the Fruit Quality Scheme
introduced last year.
Under this scheme, arrangements are made to assess and report on
the quality of fruit delivered on the docks for shipment, and
Fruit Quality Officers were appointed in this connection. These
Officers relate weekly dock assessments to quality results from the
United Kingdom, and this allows for quick identification of origins
and causes of defects.
Mechanical damage has been found to be the most common cause of
poor quality, and the main thrust of corrective action in 1978 was
directed at improving boxing operations. This action resulted in
fruit quality improvement, but WiNBAN notes that less common
defects such as "ship ripes" and "crown rots" can cause more serious
problems than mechanical damage.
'It is significant that these were the only two major defects which
failed to reflect improvement in 1978", WINBAN said, "but the adoption
of recommended technologies and appropriate managerial procedures
can provide safeguards against their recurrence in 1979."
BANANA DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEWED
The Five Year Development Plan of the Windward Islands Banana
Association (WINBAN) was recently reviewed by a team from the
British Overseas Development Ministry, the British Development
Division in Barbados and WINBAN.
The review, which included all four islands, covered some 20
components of the Plan (including Fruit Quality, Extension
communication, Hurricane Insurance and Crop Diversification),
and discussions were held with Island Banana Management Committees
:onsisting of personnel from the Ministries of Agriculture, Banana
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 13
Associations and WINBAN.
A programme of work and budget estimates for Year II of the
Development Plan were discussed, and the team will submit its
Report and recommendations to the Review Committee of the Plan.
To date, there have been four shipments of bananas in February.
On February 5th, S S "Geesttide" sailed with 19,483 boxes of bananas
weighing 606,804 lbs. There were 564 boxes of rejected fruit.
Geest Industries Ltd paid the Grenada Banana Cooperative Society
(GBCS) ECC26.456 per pound on the shipped weight. The weight of
fruit received at the boxing plants was 635,894 lbs.
On February 11th, S S "Geestcrest" sailed with 13,207 boxes of fruit
weighing 408,098 Ibs. There were 365 boxes of rejected fruit.
The price paid by Geest to GBCS is.'not yet"available. The weight
of fruit received at the boxingplants was 424,421 lbs.
On February 16th, S S "Ariane" sailed with 20,491 boxes of bananas
weighing 636,557 lbs. There were 615 boxes of rejected fruit.
Geest paid GBCS BCC26.337 per pound. The boxing plant weight
is not yet available.
On February 22nd, S S "Geeststar" sailed with 16,067 boxes of
bananas weighing 493,829 lbs. There were 697 boxes of rejects.
Neither the price paid by Geest nor the boxing plant weight is yet
The price paid by GBCS to producers on these shipments is not yet
On the shipment by S S "Geestland" on January 30th, the boxing plant
weight was 778 07 lbs.
CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the week ending February 17th, six cruise liners called
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79
These were :-
11th "Stella Oceanis"
13th "Angelina Lauro"
17th "Stella Maris"
The "Stella Maris" arrived at Grenada on February 9th, but her
passenger complement was not available for reporting in NEWSLETTER's
issue for the week ending February 10th. The Tourist Bureau now
advises that this ship carried 169 passengers. This figure will
make the total of passengers for the week ending February 10th to
be 3322, and the total of passengers for February to the week ending
February 17th to be 8,106.