Dear Editor, I THANK you for permitting me valuable space in your edition to share my opinion in the public domain.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

A principle of economics dictates that corporations become powerful when they become a valuable resource to the economies they serve. No doubt, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) has been around for years and has earned a reputation for producing one of the best rums that has gained international acclaim. Returning to the principle, DDL is indeed powerful. But does this give them the right to utilise this corporate glory at the expense of basic corporate social responsibilities?

This letter has long been coming, but was motivated by the recent development surrounding the shutdown by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), due to issues surrounding DDL’s biomethanisation plant. Imagine a company of such stature displaying gross disregard for the surrounding environment to this extent. It is safe to declare that our returning diasporans and tourists alike must now know that gas masks are an essential item to pack when passing plantation Diamond from the airport.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Piloto

The sad reality of human nature is that it allows for tolerance to be transitioned to acceptance as DDL has been guilty of not only producing obnoxious scents over their years of operations, but also discoloured properties to the extent whereby property values appreciate only when the owners amass enough capital to repaint their structures.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

Editor, there is no excuse! Closer to Georgetown, we have another beverage behemoth (Banks DIH) and it goes without saying, the Thirst Park operations are truly something to be proud of from its attention to detail with its surroundings to the effort it places on reinvesting in its environment. How can companies like DDL be allowed to operate under the guise of producing the best rum in the world, when their operation stinks from tip to toe. I personally am an occasional drinker, but I would much rather reward a company that makes the effort to leave a good corporate impact than piggyback on an acclaimed product. I think Dr. Vincent Adams is certainly fearless in executing his job since it puts the business into perspective, that it is there to serve and not impose. I think it is equally safe to show that the management of DDL have their heads stuck in the sand as at the recent launching of the new DSL mega warehouse, the chairman made the remark that DDL exports the best Guyana has to offer and DSL was birthed to bring the best of the world to Guyana.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

I am inferring from his comment therefore that the only good thing we have is his rum, as DSL imports as we say in Guyana, from rope to soap. Imagine importing chips which serve to hinder the local plantain chip manufacturer, pepper sauce (yes Mr. Editor, you read it right…peppersauce from St. Lucia is now being imported into our country) and other similar products which serve to stifle the growth of indigenous industries. Instead of imposing corporate hegemony, imagine if DDL were to instead invest in manufacturing initiatives to produce more Guyanese value-added products, as opposed to importing items which serve to displace fellow Guyanese manufacturers

Why not take the lead of investing in local industries with the potential to produce more products that are in the bracket of the “Best of Guyana“? Maybe it is a case of corporate laziness and selfishness, whereby there is no incentive to create more “world class products” versus making a quick buck via importing. Mr. Editor, I use the above arguments to remind my fellow Guyanese that accountability is within our reach. Imagine for years accepting the deplorable conditions of living in the area and now in the year 2019, maybe, just maybe, this company will reflect on their position and institute measures to become a good, corporate Guyanese citizen. Regards L. Evans