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Because these products are often a source of income for organized crime, fighting it plays an important role in the safety of Jamaica. In the past, Carreras has worked with Food for the Poor to provide housing to people in Jamaica that cannot afford to buy a home. “The great thing about this is that members of Carreras’ staff participated in building the homes,” says Mr. Steele. “We had a team of our staff members going out to the two locations in Jamaica and helping to build the houses, then handing the keys over to the new residents. We got some very good media coverage on it because it was such a kind and noble gesture and it was great to see people who otherwise could not have owned a home, could not have lived anywhere, able now to do so with help from our company.” One important recent change to Carreras’ business strategy which has had a huge positive social impact relates to the route its products take to market. Following consultations with communities where its products are sold, the company decided to take up a bike delivery initiative in 2016. Previously its products had been delivered to retailers exclusively using vans. “We have decided to deliver those cigarettes using bikes in the communities,” states Mr. Steele. “We started to hire people from these communities, people who otherwise would have been unemployed. Carreras hired them, taught them how to ride a bike, and then trained them to be sales people. You can imagine the chaos when we started because it is the first time these men and women have worked in a corporate structure. But you know what? It was very inspirational and aspirational for them because they are now employed and working, able to make an honest living and take care of their families and kids. We did this across Jamaica and are seeing the ben-

efits. The passion and drive coming through from these people, it’s fantastic.” INNOVATIONS IN EXPERIENCE “Right now we have what we call Craven A Special in the market,” says Mr. Steele when talking about where the company is right now and where they may move towards in the future. “Craven A Special is a variation of the core brand that has reconstituted tobacco for its wraps. It is not tobacco paper. We are always trying to give a different smoking experience to our consumers. There was also a recent innovation in our Matterhorn brand where we brought the innovation of additional menthol. It has a capsule that you can press for more menthol if you need it.” “For the future within BAT we have access to a wide variety of innovations. This year for example we are going to come out with another innovation in Matterhorn and another one in Craven A, again to continue to give our consumers the innovations available to get a new experience. On the brand

side as well we are going to look at ‘roll your own’ to be able to compete in the low price sector. When we came out of tobacco locally, the local tobacco farmers didn’t stop growing tobacco: They continued and developed their own ‘roll your own’ market that we don’t have a presence in. However that is coming in stream this year as well.” To support these marketing innovations Carreras will continue to invest in its employees, providing international opportunities for them to gain new knowledge and fostering the family environment that already exists within the company. It is also endeavoring to continue its reign at the top of the Jamaican Stock Exchange, where it has gained a reputation as the King of Dividends. “It is very high pressure to maintain number one but we will continue to do that,” Mr. Steele concludes. “That’s what we are known for. The passion, the drive, the attitude of the people here is our best asset and we want to continue building it. That is our plan for the future.” c


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Sustainable Business Magazine 02/17  
Sustainable Business Magazine 02/17  

Sustainable Business Magazine 02/17