JP Farms plans strong recovery after Hurricane Beryl

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

JP Farms’ initial assessment reveals that Hurricane Beryl, which brought strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding to the St Mary region, has caused $160 million worth of damage. This includes toppled trees, lost fruit, and infrastructure damage.

According to Jeffrey Hall, CEO and Deputy Chairman of Pan Jamaica Group, over 300 acres of banana and plantain crops were affected, with crop losses estimated at 90 to 95 per cent.

As JP Farms commences rehabilitation efforts, a shortage of fruit can be expected in the upcoming months, but Hall promised that the team would maintain open communication with customers to provide a timeline for partial and full recovery.

“JP Farms and the Jamaica Producers Group have a long-standing commitment to local agriculture in Jamaica,” Hall remarked. “Having weathered several natural disasters since our inception in 1929, our resilience and dedication ensure that we come back stronger each time. With the support of Pan Jamaica Group, we have already earmarked funds to re-invest in the farm’s rehabilitation efforts.”

Jeffrey Hall, CEO and Deputy Chairman of Pan Jamaica Group

Regarding the farm team, Hall emphasised, “Our priority throughout the hurricane remained the safety and well-being of our 240-plus team members who are located across the parishes of St Mary and Kingston. In fact, several farm buildings were designated and used as emergency shelters. We are pleased to report that all members of the farm team are accounted for.”

In anticipation of Hurricane Beryl, JP Farms implemented several preparatory measures which included, reinforcing farm-wide drainage systems, harvesting mature crops that could be brought in early, servicing generators and preparing storage rooms to secure fruit.

“We are also fortunate to be in a strong financial position ahead of the rehabilitation. In 2023 the farm achieved over $1 billion in revenue and at the 2024 half-year mark, the business was up 22 per cent up on prior year in terms of revenue performance,” Hall expressed.

Despite the devastating impact, JP Farms remains steadfast in its commitment to its staff, stakeholders, and the people of St Mary. As one of the largest private employers in the parish, the team recognises the importance of the successful rehabilitation of the farm for the livelihoods of local communities, said Mario Figueroa, General Manager at JP Farms.

“We are actively contributing to the recovery efforts by clearing roads leading to nearby communities and providing water from our farm pump to residents without running water. We have initiated the rehabilitation phase of our business continuity plan and are in discussions with insurance providers, suppliers, and contractors to assess the damage and begin recovery.” Figueroa asserted while acknowledging that it was still early in the hurricane season, so restoration efforts would be planned accordingly.

He added, “We recognise that many of our suppliers and customers are in similar situations. We appreciate the support and understanding of our stakeholders as we regroup and rebuild. JP Farms is dedicated to supporting our team and returning to what we do best – growing high-quality foods for Jamaicans at home and abroad.”