Belgian entity buys majority stake in Suriname bananas

PARAMARIBO--Suriname has sold a majority share of its main banana plantation to Belgium-headquartered fresh produce company Univeg. Parties announced Thursday that the Belgian holding has purchased a 90 per cent stake in the publicly-owned banana export company Stichting Behoud Bananensector Suriname (SBBS). 
 
The purchase finalises SBBS' transition into private ownership; the release said the company would, as of now, be operating under a new name: Food and Agriculture Industries (FAI).
 
Univeg CEO Francis Kint said in a press release that securing a reliable source of bananas in the Caribbean would benefit his company's customers. "The business reasons for this acquisition are in line with our strategy to secure long-term sourcing requirements to optimally service retail customers. Univeg is aware of its responsibilities towards the local communities," Kint stated.
 
SBBS was founded in 2004, succeeding Surland Banana Company that filed bankruptcy two years earlier. The company operates around 2,000 hectares (ha) of banana production in District Nickerie in western Suriname and has a turnover of US $65 million. The relationship with Univeg took off in 2006, when staff of the Belgian company toured the facilities and plantations.
 
Over the years large-scale investments in Suriname were made to develop SBBS's role as a key supply partner, also securing millions of euros in subsidies from the European Union (EU) to help expand irrigation systems and to restructure the export industry. The EU also acted as an observer during the privatisation process.
 
Nicolas Morinière, managing director of Univeg France, called the acquisition "a logical step as Univeg has been a business partner of SBBS. We are proud to have been selected for the privatisation. Suriname has great assets for the production of tropical products, such as a skilled workforce, ideal climate, soils and luminosity."
 
The release also quoted Suriname's agriculture minister Hendrik Setrowidjojo: "The Republic of Suriname has as policy to sustain the banana sector for the long term and to safeguard the employment in this sector. We are pleased that through the international tender a long-term partner such as Univeg was selected as an investor and we look forward to a fruitful relationship together. In selecting Univeg we found a good home for the future development and marketing of our banana."

Vestiging Curaçao Hof van Justitie gesloten op vrijdag 3 juli 2020

WILLEMSTAD– De vestiging Curaçao van het Hof van Justitie is op vrijdag 3 juli 2020, de dag na Dia di Bandera, gesloten. Het personeel heeft een arbeidstijdverkorting dag (ATV).

Universiteit van Curaçao start nieuwe opleiding International Hospitality & Tourism Management

WILLEMSTAD - De Faculteit der Sociale en Economische Wetenschappen van de Universiteit van uraçao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez start in augustus 2020 met een nieuwe opleiding: Bachelor in International Hospitality & Tourism Management.

Unanimous support for law to restore Statia democracy

THE HAGUE/STATIA--The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved the law proposal to phase out Dutch supervision and gradually restore democracy in St. Eustatius.