Business

Shells off

Crafton breaks into powdered eggs

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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Three years after establishing liquid eggs company Crafton Holdings, Damion Crawford will diversify the company's offering to include powdered eggs.

He reckons that the addition of powdered eggs to Crafton's business model will not only double revenues for the company, but will also assist the company in securing customers, particularly bakeries, outside of Jamaica.

A former Member of Parliament, Crawford currently has eyes on Trinidad and Tobago after being approached by two of his largest local customers to supply their Trinidad-based facilities with liquid eggs. However, the company is challenged by the small volume of liquid eggs it's now seeking to ship to the Caricom member state.

“The amount that is being ordered does not fill a container. Our product is cold storage and there are not many items going that direction chilled; you may have a few going frozen and others going regular temperate, but not many going zero to five degrees,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“If we get two more orders, that probably could fill the container. But you're left waiting until you get another order, and with business that's not going to work,” Crawford continued.

Ultimately the managing director wants to expand the egg business in Jamaica while securing market share across the Caribbean. So far he has been receiving assistance from Rainforest Seafood's Chief Executive Officer Brian Jardim and GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby on distribution and shipping arrangements across the Caribbean.

“They have asked me to look into contracting a distributor who might be carrying things from different suppliers and be better able to fill a container or find clients quickly,” he told the Business Observer. Once the company secures a distributor, it will also be looking to service hotels in St Lucia.

Crawford also wants to capitalise on Trinidad's importation of roughly 700,000 kg of powdered eggs annually. The company has already ordered the machines to manufacture the powdered eggs. Once operational, Crafton Holdings will employ at minimum six additional people to manage the powdered eggs factory, but that could go up to 18 people if it secures a market of 30,000 customers.

“We were looking at April to start production, but because of the issue with sizing it may be June or July. We wanted to start April because that's when the glut is normally highest in eggs, as well as winter is over and the hotels don't buy as much eggs,” he said.

Crawford plans on storing up eggs in the glut period to cover powdered egg shortages in the Christmas when baking is at its highest level. He also believes that the new plant could also open up the local market to Jamaican-made cake mixes.

Super Fresh liquid eggs plant has the capacity to produce 21,000 eggs per hour, while the powdered egg plant will produce 300 kg per hour.

“We have the ability to do eight times current production to cover demand from the export market,” Crawford reasoned.

Crafton Foods currently trades as Convenience Foods Liquid Eggs. Since starting deliveries in December 2016, the company said it has secured supply contracts from bakery company Tortuga, Jamaica Biscuit Company, Sandals Resorts International, Hilton Rose Hall, and retailer PriceSmart Jamaica.

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