Remarks by Deputy Chief of Mission Terry Steers-Gonzalez
In Observance of National Milling Company (Namilco) Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Thursday, May 16, 2019
- Haimraj Rajkumar, Minister of Business representing the President of Guyana
- Ministers of Government
- Members of Parliament
- Members of Government
- President & CEO Seaboard Corporation, USA Mr. Steven J. Bresky
- Managing Director of Namilco Mr. Roopnarine (Bert) Sukhai (Soo-kai) and members of Namilco
- Members of the Diplomatic Corps
- Members of the Opposition
- Members of the Private Sector and Civil Society
- Members of the Media
- Distinguished Guests
A very good evening to you all.
Thank you, Mr. Graham, for those warm words of welcome. I am extremely honored to congratulate you on behalf of the United States Embassy at this 50th anniversary celebration. This is an extraordinary milestone indeed! The U.S. Embassy is proud to be associated with the National Milling Company and its outstanding achievements over the past 50 years, and is more proud that an American company such as Namilco has become a household name in Guyana.
Namilco has had a strong relationship with the U.S. government, and has been part Guyana’s social and economic landscape for a very long time. Six decades ago, Namilco was a key player in the implementation of U.S. government international food assistance program called P.L. 480 (four-eighty). Under this program, the U.S. Government provided wheat to Guyana. NAMILCO participated in the process, milling that wheat into flour. The results of the program were wide-reaching – the wheat not only addressed shortage concerns, but the proceeds from flour sales were used to support Guyana’s drainage, irrigation, and sea defenses.
I would also like to congratulate Namilco for its product development, quality standards, brand recognition, and market penetration over the years. In this regard, please allow me to highlight a few specific achievements.
The attainment and maintenance of the ISO 9001 standard: an internationally-recognized system of requirements and standards for quality management. We all know that commitment to high standards, traceability, and certification are essential requirements for success. I am pleased to note that Namilco has been doing exceptionally well in these areas.
The movement from bulk flour to packaged specialty brands such as Thunderbolt and Maid Marian. I particularly enjoy the multigrain flour, which we use at home for our healthy version of chocolate chip cookies.
Market penetration: Getting your product in markets throughout CARICOM, North America, and elsewhere suggests that Namilco is among the leading companies in this part of the world.
Namilco has also demonstrated a deep sense of corporate social responsibility and has strong practices in support of fair employment practices, training, and high-quality controls. Your assistance to local community institutions, such as the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Center and the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sport Club’s Say Yes to Education campaign, has been exceptional and will definitely contribute to the development of Guyanese youth. I admire also your contribution to the development of youth soccer, in conjunction with the Guyana Football Federation. Youth throughout Guyana have been participating in the Under-17 competition, and Guyana will be reaping the benefits of this program in the near future. I would like to urge you to continue with these and similar types of initiatives. Keep up the excellent work!
In closing, I extend my sincere congratulations to the team at Namilco for the stellar work they have been doing in and outside of Guyana for the past 50 years. It is evident that stalwart American companies like NAMILCO are critical to Guyana’s development. At this crucial juncture in Guyana’s economic development, proactive and progressive companies such as Namilco will have an ever more important role to play.
Thank you once again for this invitation, and I wish you and Namilco all the best in your future endeavors.