The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) congratulates Viking Traders Ltd for winning the St. Lucia Industry and Small Business Association (SLISBA) Manufacturer of the Year 2015 Award. SLISBA reported a record number of nominations this year with the measurements of quality, innovation, perseverance, and the commitment to producing authentic natural Caribbean flavours identified as key in the decision making process.
Mr. Nick Zephirin, CEO of Viking Traders Ltd, accepted the award on behalf of the company which took place on August 22 at the Coconut Bay Resort. “We thank the Government of St. Lucia in association with TEPA [St. Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency] and the Caribbean Export Development Agency for the incentives given to our company and we look forward to their continued support in Viking Traders’ expansion programme” stated Mr. Zephirin who received the award from Ms. Alison Gajadhar, PS Ministry of Commerce of St. Lucia.
From humble beginnings, Viking Traders Ltd began its operations in 1979 with 10 employees and 3 distinct products of curry powder, black pepper and icing sugar. The company has now expanded its product range to 65 assorted spices, condiments, baking products, drinks, and gift items. “Our innovative international award winning products include the original banana ketchup, banana barbeque sauce, pepper sauces, icing sugar, baking powder, essences, coconut cream, coconut milk, shredded coconut, and its famous Green Gold Mountain Coffee” announced Mr. Zephirin. The company is also very proud of its newest product, “Treasure of Gold” all natural Caribbean rum cake.
Viking prides itself in being an all-encompassing St. Lucian company, with its products wholly manufactured on the island, using where possible, locally grown produce and employing 60 local persons directly and many more indirectly. They are also looking to assist farmers further and have identified land in the Soufriere area for farmers interested in growing Coffee and other Spices for their production.
The company is HACCP certified and follow strict quality assurance and control procedures and is currently expanding its operations to meet the increasing local, regional, and international demand. They have been invited to set up factories in Guyana and Trinidad where coconuts are readily available, production costs are low and attractive incentives to manufacturers are given. “Our goal is to expand our operations and to construct the first eco-friendly factory in the Caribbean” said Mr. Zephirin.