|Industry||Manufacturing - Food|
|Founded||May 17th 1969, 52 years ago|
|Guyana, St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbados, Canada, Suriname and Brazil|
|Mr Roopnarine 'Bert' Sukhai, Managing Director 2006-present|
|Products||Wheat flour and flour derivative products|
|240 metric tons of wheat per day (2019)|
|Brands||Maid Marian, Thunderbolt Flour, Life Flour, Speciality Flour|
Number of employees
TheNational Milling Company of Guyana(NAMILCO) is the largest and oldest operating commercial flour mill in the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, having celebrated its 50th anniversary of operations in 2019.The company was established as a subsidiary of the Seaboard Corporation, an international agribusiness conglomerate based in the United States, on the 17th of May 1969. The mill produces wheat-based products for both the Guyanese consumer and commercial markets alongside local foodstuffs primarily consumed by the Guyanese Indian population, a substantial ethnic group in the country. The factory is located adjacent to East Bank Public Road, Agricola, Georgetown. The National Milling Company of Guyana is headed by Managing Director Mr Roopnarine 'Bert' Sukhai.
Prior to 1969, Guyana did not possess the manufacturing capacity to produce flour and was reliant on international imports. Between 1967 and 1969 the American agricultural conglomerate Seaboard Corporation financed the construction of the company’s flour mill site, warehousing and conveyors.This was done in conjunction with Taylor Woodrow & Associates and the Italian milling firm Ocrim SpA. Upon completion, the company was officially opened by then Guyanese Prime Minister Forbes Burnham on May 17, 1969.
Guyana was at the time under the administration of Forbes Burnham, who served as both First Prime Minister and Second President of the country, from 1964 until his death in 1985. His regime, characterised as that of an economically nationalistic strongman,pursued a state-centric development of productive output in the domestic agricultural sector. Political instability in the early post-colonial era contributed to this tendency. Between 1982 and 1988, a policy of import licensing was introduced in which importation of agricultural commodities from foreign markets, among an array of other commodities, was heavily restricted. During this time, the company’s productive output suffered as a result of a major shortage in financing and unrefined wheat flour during a sharp economic contraction in which most of the company’s wheat stock was sourced predominately via the black market.
Guyanese agricultural trade with the United States during the economic crisis fell between 1981 and 1983 as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),impacting wheat flour as a major import of Guyanese trade in that period. The value of Guyanese agricultural trade and production itself saw marked declines contemporaneous with a recession according to data from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In 1986, the United States Department of Agriculture became engaged in the Caribbean region with its acceleration of the Public Law 480 program, which allocated food and agricultural assistance to Guyana under both Title 1 and Title 3 import agreements in order to stymie food shortages and malnutrition. Similar supply arrangements were made with other developing economies in the region; this program is better known as the Food for Peace program, operated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) commencing in 1954. NAMILCO was able to restart production with an inflow of imported wheat to Guyana in 1986 after the finalisation of the Public Law 480 agreement and subsequent repealing of the ban on wheat and flour importation. Since then, the entire wheat supply of Guyana has been sourced from the United States on a concessional grant basis under the program.
In 1998, the company began to repackage bulk material into small-scale packaged products under the Maid Marian and Thunderbolt brand lines, the first Guyanese company to do so.
In 2009, the company was accredited with an ISO 9001:2008 quality management system certification and observed the anniversary of 40 years of operation.
NAMILCO is regularly involved in Guyanese youth sport, actively sponsoring several competitions and teams in football and cricket codes. It is a principle sponsor of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and acts as the principle investor in local youth sport in the country. On the 19th of May 2016, the company entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding partnership with the GFF in an effort to bolster the development of long-term sporting sponsorships and athletic performance in Guyana.The deal signed amounted to $GYD 30,000,000, or approximately $USD 148,000. The GFF is the highest governing body for football in Guyana, comprising nine affiliated regional member organisations representing football associations at the national level.
In line with the MoU established with the GFF, on the 29th of April 2016 the company sponsored and launched the ‘GFF/NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour Power National U-17 Intra-Association League’ with a commencement address delivered by the then Minister of Education Dr Rupert Roopnarine.The league was recommenced for a second season in 2019. In an address officiating the second commencement, the President of the Guyana Football Federation Wayne Forde remarked that the NAMILCO league ‘is the largest financial commitment from any corporate entity to [Guyanese] football’ and that the partnership was the first to host both an officially sanctioned male and female tournament.
In addition to football sponsorships, the company has also supported regional events in track and field, swimming, cycling, cricket, futsal, and has made several donations to schools and universities across the country.
The facilities of the National Milling Company are located on the eastern bank of the Demerara River, the main waterway of the Guyanese capital city Georgetown and primary offloading point for overseas imports received by the company.On the 15th of February 2018 NAMILCO and three other local companies alongside elements of the Guyanese Police and Emergency Services, the Guyanese Coast Guard, the Marine Police and the Guyana Energy Agency coordinated a live security exercise under the direction of the Guyana Maritime Administration Department, titled 'Exercise Thunderboom'. This exercise was a scenario simulating an unauthorised intrusion of the facilities and the emergency response capacities of the participants. These exercises are required on an annual basis to comply with the safety protocols of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), the company has been registered as compliant with the ISPS since 2009.
On the 26th of September 2018, NAMILCO’s parent company the Seaboard Corporation celebrated its 100th anniversary of operation.
The company operates social media accounts on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. It has raised the issue of counterfeit packaging of non-NAMILCO flour products in Guyanese markets.
In 2019 the company held celebrations marking 50 years of operation in Guyana, holding several commemorative events with remarks delivered by the United States Deputy Chief of Mission, attended by a number of representatives from Guyanese media, industry, politics and national parliament.
A key component of the 50th anniversary commemorations was a multi-day programme of youth sport competitions held on the 26th of May 2019, coinciding with the 53rd anniversary of Guyanese Independence. The festival included softball, volleyball, cricket, football, athletics, and relay events hosted by the Rose Hill Town Youth & Sports Club (RHTYSC).NAMILCO has entered into a working partnership with the RHTYSC, on the 18th of September 2019 the company began directly sponsoring the club’s highest profile cricket squad under the name ‘Rose Hall Town NAMILCO Thunderbolt First Division Team’, also known as the RHT Thunderbolts. The company has also sponsored educational events in conjunction with the RHTYSC with donations of textbooks, equipment, and deferring prize money to local NGOs, religious institutions, and individuals under the ‘Paying it Forward’ program.
On the 10th of November 2019 an annual 9-a-side football competition was inaugurated in commemoration of the 85th birthday of former Prime Minister Hamilton Green, who served as the chosen successor of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham from 1985-1992. Subsequently serving as mayor of Georgetown, the Guyanese capital city, from 1994-2016. Hamilton Green was removed from power in the 1992 elections, the first genuinely democratic elections in Guyana since 1964.NAMILCO was involved in the organisational efforts of the competition and sponsored the furnishing of the 1st and 3rd place trophies presented as awards.
On the 15th of December 2019 NAMILCO sponsored the third-place prize money of the GFF Super 16 Cup in the amount of $GYD 500,000, approximately $USD 2400.
Following the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak, the company advised against the hoarding of flour by consumers, stating in a release that ‘we guarantee you that we have adequate quantities of all Namilco [sic] Thunderbolt and Maid Marian products, providing your normal pattern of buying is maintained’.
The National Milling Company manufactures several lines of agricultural produce, predominately consisting of wheat flour and wheat flour-derived products. The four main brands are as follows: Maid Marian, Thunderbolt Flour, Life Flour, and Supreme Specialties Flour.In addition, the company produces several goods tailored to the large east-Indian demographic of Guyana. The products below are listed on the company’s website.
Products for general consumption and use in cooking
Snack products and products for specific delicacies
Blended Wheat Flour designed for residential and commercial use
Flour specifically for cakes and pastries under the Life™ brand name, made of wheat flour with a low protein content
Custom made flour produced with the specifications of individual businesses
The company's manufacturing process begins with the offloading of imported wheat from the United States of America. Said wheat undergoes a process of moisture tempering and cleaning for a maximum of 24 hours, then proceeding on to a size-sorting system in which the tempered grain is crushed and transported to a purification apparatus in which remaining bran and impurities are removed.In total, the production process used by the company comprises four systems: the tempering process, the break system, the purification system, and the flour dressing system. A summary of the NAMILCO flour milling process is available here, as per the company's website.
The resultant flour material is then transported through a reduction system in which finer particulates are sorted and collected, the coarser particles being reintroduced for further treatment and size reduction. In the final milling process, the flour is treated with a substance that oxidises carotene in the material, thus whitening it.In addition, the treatment process fortifies the flour product with vitamins B1, B2, C, Iron and Niacin and serves as a means of bolstering poor rates of public nutrition. This has been done in response to the phenomena of high rates of iron-deficiency anaemia prevalent in predominately rural and developing economies such as Guyana.
The National Milling Company of Guyana, as the largest and only flour milling firm in the country, plays an active role in the Guyanese agricultural manufacturing sector and has been conferred with several industry accreditations on its staff and manufacturing practices.
The company first attained an International Standards Organisation ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Certification on 1 May 2009 2009, its 40th anniversary year, being the first company in Guyana to achieve this accreditation.NAMILCO has maintained several 3-year accreditation periods with annual production process audits conducted by Swiss firm SGS S.A., the company’s current ISO 9001:2015 license is to be reviewed in 2021.
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), an oversight body within the Business Ministry, held its second biennial National Quality Awards (NQA) ceremony on the 17th of October 2019.The accreditations were for the level of compliance with criteria established by the ISO concerning management, safety, and environmental standards. The bureau conducted audits at 21 participating companies. The National Milling Company collected four awards; winning an award for overall manufacturing, an award for green initiatives in manufacturing, an award for manufacturing health and safety, and an award for customer focus in manufacturing. The NQA program is an initiative introduced by the CARICOM Regional Organisation of Standards and Quality (CROSQ) in 2016. In October 2017 the first biennial NQA ceremony was held in which the National Milling Company was awarded the 'Gold Manufacture Award for Quality' as a Large Business category contender.
Mr Bert Sukhai has served as Managing Director of the company since 2006, having joined the company in 1994. He is the first non-expatriate managing director of the company and has served over 25 years at the firm.On the 18th of December 2019 he was granted the ‘Presidents Lifetime Award’ by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GAMSA), the company itself was granted the ‘Presidents Award’ in recognition of its 50th anniversary.
The University of Guyana, in Georgetown, Guyana, is Guyana's national higher education institution. It was established in April 1963 with the following Mission: "To discover, generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge of the highest standard for the service of the community, the nation, and of all mankind within an atmosphere of academic freedom that allows for free and critical enquiry."
Seaboard Corporation is a diverse multinational agribusiness and transportation conglomerate with integrated operations in several industries. In the United States, the company mainly engages in pork production and processing and ocean transportation. Internationally, Seaboard is primarily engaged in commodity merchandising, grain processing, sugar production and electrical power generation. The parent company, Seaboard Corporation is based in the Kansas City suburb of Merriam, Kansas. Its subsidiaries include Seaboard Foods, Seaboard Marine, Seaboard Overseas & Trading Group (SOTG), Tabacal Agroindustria, Transcontinental Capital Corporation, Ltd. (TCCB), and Mount Dora Farms. It has 50% non-controlling interest in Butterball, LLC. Its principal operating divisions are pork, commodity trading and milling, marine, sugar, and power. More than 50% of the corporation is owned by members of its founding family, the Breskys.
David Arthur Granger is a Guyanese politician and retired military officer who served as the 9th President of Guyana from May 2015 to August 2020. He served for a time as Commander of the Guyana Defence Force and subsequently as National Security Adviser from 1990 to 1992. He was Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Guyana from 2012 to 2015.
The Patamona are an Amerindian people native to the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana and northern Brazil. They speak a Cariban language, Kapóng, and have often been referred to interchangeably as Akawaio or Ingariko. Patamona are considered a sub-group of Kapon people.
Agriculture in Kazakhstan remains a small scale sector of Kazakhstan's economy. Agriculture's contribution to the GDP is under 10% - it was recorded as 6.7%, and as occupying only 20% of labor. At the same time, more than 70% of its land is occupied in crops and animal husbandry. Compared to North America, a relatively small percentage of land is used for crops, with the percentage being higher in the north of the country. 70% of the agricultural land is permanent pastureland.
Telecommunications in Guyana include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet. Early telecommunications were owned by large foreign firms until the industry was nationalized in the 1970s. Government stifled criticism with a tight control of the media, and the infrastructure lagged behind other countries, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) holding a monopoly on most such services. In a 2012 census report on Guyanese households, 55.5% had a radio, 82.7% had a television, 27.8% had a personal computer, and 16.2% had internet at home, 49.3% had a telephone landline, and 70.6% had a cellular phone.
Barbados–Guyana relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Barbados and the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana. The former maintains non-resident diplomatic representation from Bridgetown, while Guyana which prior had a High Commissioner to Barbados appointed its first resident Consul-General, Michael Brotherson to Bridgetown in January 2012.
Rice production in Guyana is an important foodstuff of domestic consumption and one of Guyana's major export commodities.
Agriculture in Guyana is dominated by sugar and rice production. Although once the chief industry, is has been overshadowed by mining.
Alpha United FC is a Guyanese football club based in Providence. The club competes in the GFF Elite League, the top league of football in Guyana. They were league champions in the 2009–10, 2010, 2012, 2012–13, and 2013–14 seasons.
Edward Phelps Allis was an American businessman who founded the Edward P. Allis Company, a manufacturer of milling and mining equipment, steam engines, and other large-scale capital equipment. He was a notable ideologue in the Greenback Movement, running for governor of Wisconsin as a candidate of the Greenback Party. About a decade after his death, his company merged with others to form the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company. In 1883, Allis was elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Jamaal Shabazz is a Trinidadian football manager, who is the current head coach of the St. Lucia national football team. He is known for three different stints in charge of Guyana.
Kayman Sankar was a Guyanese businessman, philanthropist, and member of parliament. He helped to establish the rice industry on the Essequibo coast, and rose from a labourer to "Guyana’s most successful rice farmer".
Sase Narain was a Guyanese politician and lawyer. He served as Speaker of the National Assembly of Guyana from 1971 to 1992, becoming the longest serving Speaker in Guyana.
The Guyana National Service was a public service organization, including a paramilitary element, formed in Guyana in 1971 and disbanded in 2000, amidst some controversy.
Fruta Conquerors FC is a Guyanese football club in Georgetown. The club competes in the GFF Elite League, the top league of football in Guyana. They were league champions in 2000–01, 2017-18 and 2019. The club is named for their sponsor, the beverage company Fruta. They were an inaugural member of the Elite League in 2015–16.
Jordan Dover is a Canadian-born Guyanese international footballer who plays as a defender for USL Championship club Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
Mohamed Irfaan Ali is a Guyanese politician who is the President of Guyana since August 2020. Ali is the first Muslim President of Guyana, along with being the second Muslim head of state in the Western Hemisphere after Noor Hassanali.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The virus was confirmed to have reached Guyana on 11 March 2020. The first case was a woman who travelled from New York, a 52-year-old woman suffering from underlying health conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. The woman died at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Isahak Basir CCH was a Guyanese historian who was a member of the National Assembly of Guyana from 1977 to 1991. Basir was nicknamed "Uncle Tabrak" and was of Indian descent.