PM hails Red Stripe for $2.2 billion cellar expansion project

From left to right: Red Stripe Managing Director Luis Prata; Red Stripe Supply Chain Director, Nele Vanbeneden; Red Stripe Board Chairman, Peter Melhado; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Red Stripe Production Manager Sheldon Sharpe; Red Stripe Head of Corporate Affairs, Dianne Ashton-Smith; and Member of Parliament for St Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton.

    Declaring that Red Stripe was a Jamaican company through and through, Prime Minister Andrew Holness gave a ringing endorsement of the company’s ongoing commitment to Jamaica as he delivered the keynote address at the launch of Red Stripe’s Cellars Expansion (CERS) Project on Tuesday (March 28).

    “This $2.2 billion investment is a powerful symbol of Red Stripe’s confidence in Jamaica, and I will continue to encourage Red Stripe to make investments in brand Jamaica,” the prime minister noted at the launch ceremony which was held at Red Stripe’s Spanish Town Road Brewery.

    The CERS Project was designed to modernise the beer company’s operations and increase storage capacity in response to growing demand.

    “It is known worldwide that this (Red Stripe) is a Jamaican undertaking. It is part of our cultural legacy, a defining element of our country’s brand, and part of our intellectual property. For this reason, we have always acknowledged its value, so much so that HEINEKEN came on board to manage the brand as a stakeholder. Ultimately, this has maximised the value of the brand locally and overseas. I commend the company for its investment, and I commend you for your commitment to sustainability. In summary, great things are happening in the country,” said Holness.

      Red Stripe Managing Director Luis Prata (left) explains the intricacies of the CERS Project to Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) as Red Stripe Board Chairman, Peter Melhado looks on.

        Red Stripe’s multi-billion-dollar CERS Project investment will facilitate a 34 per cent expansion in beer production, improve operational sustainability, boost efficiency and safety and further mitigate hygiene risks.

        The increase in storage capacity will also strengthen the local supply chain, subsequently creating direct and indirect economic opportunities. The project also strengthens one of Red Stripe’s key pillars, sustainability, by reducing the brewery’s environmental footprint.

        Addressing over 100 government officials, private sector representatives and other stakeholders who gathered to witness the historic launch, Red Stripe Managing Director Luis Prata highlighted that the CERS Project represents one of the company’s most important and extensive initiatives in recent history.

        “In many ways, CERS, as we call it internally, represents this team’s passion and tenacity and drive to win. Without a doubt, CERS is one of the most important and extensive initiatives we have executed as a team, and I am extremely proud of this accomplishment. Beyond the capital investment of more than $2 billion, we poured a lot of time and expertise into getting it right. This took considerable collaboration, and I have to salute our local project lead Trecia Campbell-Sharpe, our Supply Chain Director, Nele Vanbeneden and the rest of her team for doing such a brilliant job of bringing this project to life,” said Prata.

        Expounding further on the significance of the project to the company’s overall operational and sustainability goals as well as its confidence in the Jamaican market, Prata noted, “This project represents another milestone on our innovation journey and our ambition to achieve greater efficiencies and increased productivity. However, it’s more than just an increase in capacity. As part of the HEINEKEN Company, we believe in brewing a better world, and the cellars expansion is taking us a step closer to realising our sustainability goals. CERS is already allowing us to reduce the old horizontal tanks’ energy, water and chemical usage, ensuring that our operations have little to no negative impact on the environment. This investment is also about making bolder, more courageous moves, representing Red Stripe’s confidence in Jamaica,” he asserted.

        The Red Stripe managing director also noted that shortly after the company started the project, the world shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared that while other investors were holding back, they decided to press forward. “We had a strong belief that this was the right thing to do,” Prata declared.

        In addition to launching the Cellars Expansion, Red Stripe unveiled the company’s newly renovated corporate offices, known as ‘Red Stripe House’.

        Following the $250 million upgrade, Red Stripe House now features ultra-modern workspaces that foster creativity, collaboration and innovation, elements Red Stripe considers essential to unlocking the full potential of its team to maximise productivity and efficiency.