Minister Alexander visits Anse Royale farms


21-November-2012

Messrs Pool and Geffroy take the minister and her delegation on a tour of their farms

Accompanied by her principal secretary Veronique Bresson and senior officials of her ministry, Minister Alexander was welcomed by José Pool and Jean-Paul Geffroy – the two farm owners. 

The minister visited the farms which cover around three hectares of land and interacted with the workers. 

The workers spoken to, a good number of them with long years of service, felt comfortable to express themselves and confirmed their satisfaction with their working conditions.

Mr Pool explained that one of his future plans is to build a new canteen to further provide for the well-being of the staff.

He said they are always looking at ways and means to better the general working conditions of the employees.

The areas of concerns raised by Messrs Pool and Geffroy are the difficulty to get and retain local staff and obtain skilled personnel despite them offering a good salary package and the different incentives in place, such as a low rate in personal income tax (PIT) contribution.

The minister said she will take up the matter in collaboration with other authorities concerned so as to ensure the continued availability of resources to meet the growing demand for farm workers.

She informed Messrs Pool and Geffroy of her ministry’s plan to address the situation of negative attitude towards work by a minority of workers.

The minister added that education is key and she plans to involve the private sector in the process.  She stated that there is a need to remind our workers that all work is important and that there is opportunity to earn a good living in the farming industry.

Messrs Pool and Geffroy agreed to take part in an educational programme that the ministry will be organising early next year and they have also offered their work places for on-the-job training under one of the skills development programmes being run by the ministry.

At the close of the visit the minister reiterated the importance of such interactions with the private sector which, among other objectives, is to understand their concerns and work with them towards addressing their challenges to allow for a good working environment for all workers.

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