October 12, 2023
Winfresh (formerly known as WIBDECO) is owned by the governments of St. Lucia and Dominica, working together for the benefit of the people of the islands – providing opportunities for economic growth and employment. Having originated as a crop insurance scheme, Winfresh evolved to provide R&D and administrative functions for the banana industry.
Representing the interests of 4,000+ farmers, Windard Island Bananas were exposed to an EU proposed single tariff on imports that would have removed their protection from low cost Latin American suppliers.
Sainsbury’s asked for assistance from one of its other banana suppliers, Mack Multiples, who despite being an effective rival believed there were benefits to be had from working together. Working with Mack Multiples, Wibdeco and Sainsbury’s, Libra focused on the supply chain to drive cost savings that would ensure the Windward Islands remained competitive. Libra worked with Wibdeco, Mack Multiples and Geest (a previous operational partner) to benchmark, evaluate and implement revised working practices across ripening and purchasing operations in the UK transport operations, reducing the overhead cost-base of Wibdeco UK through a restructure of the joint venture shipping agreement.
There was a substantial and sustainable improvement in operating costs, ensuring the livelihoods of farmers within the islands remained secure. The business continued to be a commercially viable partner for Sainsbury’s. Impressively, annualised savings were achieved in the region of 9% of the company's turnover, all while ensuring that day-to-day activities were not adversely affected.