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Angostura’s mission is to bring the spirt of Trinidad and Tobago to every customer experience by providing preferred products and excellent customer service. While carefully managing its core business, the company lays emphasis on the four CSR objectives of employee engagement, community investment, environmental ethics and responsible consumption.
The sustainability of our legacy and growth as a company depends, not only on the profits we make, but the social footprints we leave behind. It is also in the management of the environment, the care of its employees and the levels of social support of its fence-line community in Laventille/Morvant and the national community as a whole.
The Company’s CSR efforts generally span a wide range of areas, which allows us to assist with organisations that deal with culture, education and sport, as well as environmental and humanitarian issues. Often our efforts result in several of our four principles overlapping to achieve multiple goals.
At Angostura, a series of programmes has been developed over the years by a cross-functional internal CSR committee. These programmes are aimed at creating responsible and engaged citizens from within our workforce. Volunteerism is highly encouraged amongst our staff, who are urged to participate in various activities which are aligned with our CSR objectives throughout the year. Some of these activities have included:
Junior Business Fair – Form 3 students from several secondary schools in the Laventille/Morvant area are invited to visit Angostura and engage with employees from different departments, covering a wide range of careers. The aim is to introduce them to various and sometimes new career possibilities, as well as advise the students on what skills and qualifications they may need to pursue their interests.
Other Career Fairs – Angostura employees also participate in the University of the West Indies’ annual World of Work fair held at the St. Augustine campus, as well as career days at schools in our fenceline community and across the country. These are tremendous opportunities for staff to interact with future men and women who may one day become part of the Angostura family.
Christmas Toy Drive – “It is better to give than to receive” and it is in this spirit of giving that employees are encouraged every year to donate toys, which are then wrapped and presented to children from homes and other organisations, both within the Laventille/Morvant area and the wider community as a Christmas treat. Several staff members also visit the homes and organisations to present the children with the toys.
Volunteer Month – In 2016, the Company held a month of activities under the umbrella of ‘Volunteerism’. During this period:
Staff raised money for the T&T Cancer Society and the Cyril Ross Home for children afflicted with HIV/Aids;
Several women also participated in Scotiabank’s Women Against Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk;
Employees brought in books which were donated to primary schools in the Laventille/Morvant area for use in their libraries;
Staff, together with friends and family members, participated in the annual International Coastal Cleanup campaign.
University Scholarship Awards Program – At Angostura, as part of our ongoing commitment to meaningfully contribute to the welfare of employees and their families, we invite applications from children of permanent employees for the University Scholarship Award Programme (USAP). The major objective of the programme is to assist in ensuring that employees’ children, who demonstrate exceptional academic promise, have the opportunity to attend the University of choice and read for a degree in the discipline of their choice.
Angostura takes its role in the fence-line community of Laventille/Morvant and other areas very seriously and continues to engage in a number of activities and programs which seek to cement our position as a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility. Working alongside several organisations, schools and private citizens, the Company has, over the years, initiated or been involved in a range of activities that seeks to provide sustainable support both to the immediate and wider communities.
Here are some of our projects:
The Heroes Foundation and its Youth Development Program – Started in 2006 by the Heroes Foundation, a registered NGO operating since 2002, the YDP program seeks to empower students from ‘at risk’ areas, to learn more about their communities through the creation and execution of improvement projects. They also learn about teamwork, while developing their leadership and management skills. Angostura has been supporting the YDP program since 2014, first with students from the Barataria North Secondary School and now with students from the Success Laventille Secondary School. Several of the program’s key projects embody some of Angostura’s core CSR objects, for example, Heroes of the Environment and their Christmas & Community Angels activities.
The A.R.R.O.W. Foundation and its Literacy Program – In 2016 Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley launched the Laventille School Project, with one of its aims being to improve literacy amongst students from the area both at primary and secondary school level. An audio/visual multi-sensory based program developed in the UK, A.R.R.O.W. (an acronym for Aural, Read, Respond, Oral, Write) literacy has been proven to significantly increase not only reading skills and performance, but also improves spelling, concentration, self-esteem, speech, confidence and motivation in students. Angostura has partnered with the A.R.R.O.W. Foundation to bring this program to several primary schools in the Laventille/Morvant community. The Company has worked with the Foundation in the past, at the Russell Latapy High School in Morvant.
Primary Schools’ Library Enhancement Project – It began as a volunteer initiative to encourage staff to donate books, which would be given to various primary schools in the Laventille/Morvant area. However, it soon developed into a desire to go even further, by enhancing existing libraries to create a space where students would feel inspired to read and improve their literacy skills, thus enabling them to reach their full potential. Working with the organisation E.I.E. (Educate Inspire Encourage), Angostura has committed to the restructuring of several school libraries which would aid in achieving this objective. The scope of works includes re-painting, upgrading furnishings and cataloging and labelling library titles.
‘Back to School’ Programme – The Company launched its Angostura S.E.A. Awards program in 2018 with the presentation of book vouchers to the top SEA students from fifteen primary schools in the Laventille/Morvant area. Vouchers were also presented to councilors, for other students in need of assistance
Training Coopers – The art of coopering is a century’s old tradition of making wooden barrels or casks mostly by hand. The craft is still very much a part of Angostura’s rich rum manufacturing heritage and in our efforts to keep the tradition alive, from time to time young men interested in learning the craft are trained over a three-week period at the compound. Conducted by our own master cooper, trainees from across the country learn about the history, tools and techniques of the trade. At the end of the training they are presented with certificates of participation and their names are held on file for future employment in the field.
The Angostura Champions Award is an annual awards programme initiated by the House of Angostura to celebrate individuals who perform outstanding community service and work toward improving the lives of others in Trinidad and Tobago. The awards programme aims to showcase the chosen Champions’ exceptional contributions to society, thus encouraging a sense of service, much needed in our nation today.
In the Field of Arts & Culture
Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation – For many years Angostura has supported the Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation and its annual Street Parade. Our support of this event helps the Foundation to draw thousands of citizens to see and enjoy many of the top steelbands perform along the Eastern Main Road in relative safety.
Support for Carnival – Carnival has always been one of Angostura’s main opportunities to promote awareness of our many brands. So it is no coincidence that the Company invest heavily in the festival in many ways. Panorama competitions and unsponsored steelbands of varying sizes receiving funding either in cash or kind, to support their bid to advance through the Panorama competitions. Angostura also provides financial assistance to the Uptown Carnival Committee’s annual ‘Bomb’ Competition and the Laventille for Laventillians’ Carnival street parade.
Support for our Culture – Recognizing the importance of our rich and diverse heritage Angostura supports many other events outside of the Carnival period. These include the Pan in De Rosa Festival held annually in Arima and the Tobago Heritage Festival in the communities of Buccoo and Plymouth. We have also donated pans, violins and other instruments throughout the year to institutions such as schools, to help in the development of their musical programs.
Support for the Arts – Angostura also helps to promote the Arts in many ways, such as support for the annual UWI and EU film festivals; various theatre productions and acting, music or dance workshops.
In the Field of Sports
The Company provides assistance to several organisations and schools in support of various sporting disciplines and events. Sports camps and workshops are also given assistance either in cash or kind throughout the year.
In the Field of Youth Development
Laventille/Morvant Youth Games – The project, which focuses on teaching students about using hydroponics to grow food, was launched in several primary schools in 2017 and encouraged the children to learn about the value of growing their own food, both from a financial and a nutritional perspective. An “Agri Fair” was also held to showcase produce grown using these systems.
UWI Development & Endowment Fund – For many years Angostura has provided bursaries to several students in the fields of Agri-Science, Marketing, Communications, Chemistry and Information Technology.
TTHTI Award – Presented annually – The Angostura Best Project Award for Food & Beverage Management
Angostura’s Graduate Worker Intern program – The primary objective of Angostura’s Graduate Worker Intern (GWI) Program, is to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively bridge the gap from university to the working environment. A one-year program offered to university graduates who have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognised university (local or international), the GWI is exposed to learning in a variety of fields including, human resources, information technology, corporate communications, law, engineering and finance. While the program does not guarantee permanent employment at the end of the term, many of our GWIs have gone on to secure a job within the organisation.
Christmas in the Community – Christmas is a special time for many people to spend time with loved ones. In the spirit of giving to those who may be in need of some extra special attention, the Company hosts a Christmas party for senior citizens and children from the Laventille/Morvant community. Food hampers are distributed and toys (most of which are donated by staff) are presented by Santa. The young and old generations enjoy interacting with each other while they are entertained. Toys and hampers are also distributed to other NGOs such as K.I.N.D., Raffa House and Beyond the Call Foundation, as well as schools like Each One Teach One in the Beetham Gardens community.
Flood relief – In October 2018, many communities throughout the country suffered the ravages of devastating floods, after a period of heavy and unusual rainfall. Angostura, like many other corporate and private citizens, heeded the call for aid, focusing its efforts in assisting several primary schools in areas such as Caroni, Warrenville, Sangre Grande and St. Helena. Furniture, photocopiers, stationery, text books, computers and even much needed cleaning supplies, were given to schools in these communities. Clothing, food and other supplies were also donated to shelters and NGOs who assisted affected residents.
Angostura Champions Awards – The inaugural Angostura Champions Awards was launched in 2018. Out of hundreds of persons who were nominated throughout Trinidad and Tobago for their outstanding community service, five finalists were announced at a formal dinner and awards function. Christopher Dennis, Elspeth Duncan, Frank Edwards, Koriella Espinoza and Donald McLean James were all recognised for their exceptional contributions to society in areas such as sports, animal welfare, youth development and health care. Koriella Espinoza was subsequently named the “Angostura Champion” for her work with children diagnosed with cancer through her Korie’s Kids foundation.
Energy conservation, preservation of our eco-system, recycling and waste management are all key components of Angostura’s approach to environmental awareness and education. Both employees and members of our fence-line community participate in and benefit from various activities which seek to engage and inform on different topics in an interactive setting.
As a manufacturing company, Angostura articulates an environmental position that takes into consideration, its proximity to a residential community. The company therefore keeps abreast of international standards required to maintain its ISO14001 certification over the years. In order to ensure that its effluent does not expel into the community the company constructed its own waste water treatment facility on the compound to deal with all effluent coming out of the plant.
Additionally, the Company stresses the importance of conscious recycling in as many areas of its day-to-day operations as possible. These include – recycling cartons, glass, sugar bags, toner & ink cartridges, waste oil and scrap metal.
World Environment Day – World Environment Day (W.E.D.) is celebrated annually on June 05 with a different theme each year. Our cross-functional CSR team works hard to bring the theme to life with activities that encourage staff to participate and learn more about how they can impact on and improve our environment. Some of our activities have included planting trees around the compound; learning about the efforts to preserve our local wildlife; ways to reduce food wastage and how we can connect with nature.
Schools in the community are also invited to participate in our W.E.D. activities. A recycling competition was held with the secondary schools who were challenged to recycle our LLB cans into something that had a practical use. 4H clubs from several primary schools were invited to a ‘market’ day on our compound where they sold produce, or items made from the crops they reaped, to staff.
International Coastal Cleanup – Held every year in September, the International Coastal Cleanup campaign, is another opportunity for staff to volunteer their time cleaning up a designated area in Trinidad. Together with friends and family members, we join forces with other organisations to clean up beaches, rivers and the coastal areas around the country, while recording valuable data on the trash collected. This data is then collated and sent for tabulation and reporting.
The Trinidad & Tobago Butterfly Guide – In 2015 Angostura collaborated with the Trinidad & Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club and the UWI Zoology Museum, to produce and print a guide to our local butterfly population. 100 of the most commonly encountered and beautiful butterflies found throughout Trinidad & Tobago are depicted in vivid colour in the laminated guide, some of which were distributed to several schools, NGOs and nature centres across the country.
Teaching the Youth to Appreciate the Environment – Appreciation of our environment is not only an adult responsibility. As such, Angostura has supported several initatives in schools that help to promote awareness of and interest in going and staying green. Launched in 2013, the ‘Green Initative’ assists with the establishment of 4H clubs in several primary schools, as well as provides the clubs with some of the tools and other components to setup a garden. Several schools are also sponsored to participate in the annual Fire Prevention ‘GAYAP’, a project held by the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP) in St. Anns’. Financial assistance is also given to the FACRP for their August vacation eco-camp.
Angostura’s drive to promote responsible behaviour amongst its employees and an awareness of the effects of overconsumption of alcohol is something we take very serious. As such, a number of initiatives are supported throughout the year, both internally and in the public domain.
CARIAD’s symposium on alcohol and addiction studies – for many years Angostura has sponsored two persons from the Laventille/Morvant community to attend a two-week national symposium on alcohol and addiction studies in Tobago, hosted by CARIAD.
Awareness campaigns – several times a year, especially during the peak Christmas and Carnival seasons, Angostura runs ads in the daily newspapers, which promote the concept of designating a driver and also knowing your limit. These ads are also circulated on all of our social media platforms and internally to staff.
During the month of September the Company hosts workshops and informative sessions for staff, which seek to educate them on the impact of over-consumption and what can be some of the effects on their bodies. Facts and infographics on alcohol and its use, as well as the value of moderate drinking are also circulated daily on monitors and via social media.