Unilever in Trinidad
Unilever's origins in Trinidad date back to 1929
Steeped in Tradition
Located on the Eastern Main Road in Champs Fleurs, the origins of Unilever Caribbean Limited date back to 1929 when two predecessor companies – Trinidad Manufacturing and Refining, and West Indian Oil Industries – were established in Trinidad to produce crude soaps and fats, using local coconut oil. Unilever acquired these two companies in 1948, and eventually merged them into Lever Brothers West Indies Ltd. (LBWI) in 1964.
The factory which still operates today in Champs Fleurs was built in 1960, to produce both toilet and laundry soaps, packed margarine and shortening, and bottled cooking oil. Later additions were the powder detergent and liquid plants, as well as a broad-based personal product facility, which has subsequently been closed. It currently houses two plants – a Home Care facility which manufactures Breeze and Radiante laundry detergents, Quix Dishwashing Liquid and Comfort Fabric Softener, as well as a Foods Plant which manufactures popular margarine lines such as Blue Band, Flora, I Can’t Believe its Not Butter, Becel, Cookeen and Golden Ray.
In 2004, Lever Brothers West Indies became Unilever Caribbean Limited due to a unanimous shareholder vote in accordance with the rebranding of Unilever to adopt a single corporate identity worldwide.
Shares & Ownership
Unilever Caribbean Limited is publicly traded on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. Private shareholders own 49% of the operation with Unilever PLC owning the remaining 51% shareholding.
In addition to managing the local Trinidad and Tobago market, Unilever Caribbean Limited also holds responsibility for 17 export markets in the Southern Caribbean. Sales outside of the TT market account for roughly 50% of total Unilever Caribbean Limited sales.
Categories and Brands
In addition to those products manufactured at its Champs Fleurs facilities, Unilever Caribbean Limited imports a number of personal care and foods products from other Unilever sites across the globe. These include leading brands such as Axe and Rexona deodorants, Dove personal care products, Pond’s and Vaseline skin care products, Lux and Rexona soaps, Sunsilk and Suave hair care products, as well as Lipton tea, Hellman’s mayonnaise, Wishbone salad dressings and well known ice cream brands such as Ben and Jerry’s, Popsicle and Breyer’s. The Company also imports Cif and Mistolin household cleaners. The Company continues to command strong market shares in several of its categories in spite of a highly competitive environment. Ongoing improvement initiatives such as systems upgrades and plant optimization projects continue to ensure the Company’s sustainability and leading position in the local market place. Please visit “Our Brands” section to learn about the brands marketed by Unilever Caribbean Limited.
Unilever Caribbean Limited has a Board of Directors, chaired by Gary Voss, who oversees the company’s strategic direction. The day to day operations of the company are managed by a Management Committee led by Managing Director, Tim Kleinebenne. Please visit the “Our People” section to learn more about the Board of Directors of Unilever Caribbean Limited.
Unilever Caribbean Limited is very active in the community, having informally adopted its neighboring community of Mt. D’Or since 2001. The company continues to support the community with a number of infrastructural development programmes as well as initiatives that emanate from the company’s expertise in nutrition, hygiene and environmental sustainability. Please visit the “Sustainability” section for more information on the corporate social responsibility activities of Unilever Caribbean Limited.