Sacha Cosmetics, a well-known beauty brand founded in 1979 in the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has been named the Caribbean Exporter of the Year at the recently held inaugural Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards.
The family-owned business claimed the top accolade from a field nine nominees drawn from across the region as the curtains came down on the 3rd CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum held in collaboration with ACP Business Climate facility (BizClim) between April 15 and 16, 2015 at the Hilton Rose Hall Beach & Spa Resort.
Sacha Cosmetics started business 35 years ago and is currently distributed in 23 countries and sold online in North America. The company started with a vision, “to develop a cosmopolitan brand of cosmetics which would look equally exquisite on all skin tones”, according to Founder and Managing Director Kama Maharaj.
In 2013 the company was appointed sole supplier of cosmetics to the largest distribution company in Cuba with 2,179 retail outlets. Its products have been used by numerous makeup artistes at major international beauty events and among other achievements, Sacha was the official cosmetics supplier for the 1999 Miss Universe contest, the 2000 Miss USA Pageant, the 2011 Miss Bahamas Pageant and the 2014 Miss Panama Pageant.
Thanking Caribbean Export for recognition, Mr. Maharaj said “Sacha’s philosophy is that a woman’s make up must enhance her natural beauty, not hide it. Over the years we have committed ourselves to building a powerful brand.”
He declared, “We don’t make cosmetics, we make women look more beautiful…In fact, we do not sell cosmetics, we sell hope”, he jokingly told the audience that broke out in fits of laughter and applause.
The award seeks to recognize the firm which has achieved significant exporting success and whose brand epitomizes Caribbean Export’s philosophy of “Taking Caribbean Excellence to the World.”
Commendations to Sacha came from the President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, William Mahfood, the guest speaker at the Awards Ceremony, and from Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Pamela Coke Hamilton.
“We deemed it absolutely necessary to give due respect to our region’s exporters, companies that have played a significant role in strengthening our economies and generating foreign exchange”, said Coke-Hamilton.
She noted that many of the companies had generated employment opportunities and helped to influence a strong favourable perception of the Caribbean brand both regionally and internationally.
Mr. Mahfood said manufacturing and exporting in the Caribbean was a daily challenge “so I take my hat off to you and I congratulate you for all that you do.”
The Young Exporter of the Year was awarded to a company, whose principal shareholder is no older than 35 years, and was copped by Trinidadian sleep systems manufacturer Advanced Foam Limited, winning from a field of eight nominees.
The Green Exporter of the Year Award, which recognizes an exporter that has invested in green technologies and integrated alternative energy solution into its operation leading to export success, went to Nand Persaud and Company Limited, a rice milling complex in Guyana whose products are on grocery shelves worldwide. From producing one ton of rice per hour in 1992, the company now has the capability of producing up to six tons of parboiled rice and eight tons of white rice per hour. The company recycles all of its rice shell to power all its machines, including paddy dryers, and is looking to expand production capacity by ten percent next year.
Gopex International of Suriname emerged the victor from a field of ten nominees for the Emerging Exporter of the Year award which recognizes a new export business that has entered the export market over the last three years, and which is experiencing significant success.
The Caribbean Export Choice Award was given to the exporter, which exemplifies great drive and determination to export products and services globally was claimed by SMAKS Luxury Group of Trinidad and Tobago, producers of the world’s first tea-infused Chai rum.
The Special Award for Excellence in Service Export recognises an outstanding Caribbean firm whose primary area of business is the provision of services with global reach was won by, GeoTech Vision from Jamaica.
Jamaican agro-processor Denese Palmer of Southside Distributors of Jamaica was adjudged as the Female Exporter of the Year as the curtains came down on a successful 2-day CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the ACP Business Climate facility (BizClim). The ACP Business Climate Facility (BizClim) is a programme of the ACP Secretariat financed by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It aims at fostering a business enabling environment for the Private Sector in ACP countries and regions by improving legislation, institutional frameworks and financial measures.
Mark Thomas and Clinton Pickering reporting from Montego Bay