…as Surinamese company getsschool juice contractLocal beverage giant, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) has been overlooked as Government announced that the contract for the supply and delivery of boxed juices was awarded to Suriname’s Rudisa Beverages and Juices Company.This announcement was made despite DDL being the lowest bidder at the recent bid for the contract. After milk was replaced as the preferred beverage to offer students along with biscuits and a snack in schools, DDL had supplied Topco juices to Government’s National School Feeding programme since 2010.However, on Saturday Government stated that it was guided by the National Procurement and Tender Board Administration’s recommendation that the contract should be awarded to the third highest bidder. Government further justified its decision noting that Rudisa met the requisite administrative as well as technical requirements.In a brief comment on the issue a DDL official said on Monday that the company will make a public statement soon on the issue.Meanwhile, Opposition Member of Parliament and former Attorney General Anil Nandlall commenting on the issue on Monday said that while Caricom (Caribeban Community) has obligations which may allow for a level playing field for competitive companies, the benefits a local company can offer Guyana outweighs that of a foreign company. He added that the deal sends the wrong message to local manufactures, pointing out that other Caricom member states make provisions for their local companies to thrive.The former Attorney General likened the decision to terminate the company’s juice contract as move against job creation, something Nandlall reminded was promised in the coalition’s 100 day plan.Nandlall also referenced company Barama which recently laid off nearly 200 employees due to the non-renewal of their licenses. The former Attorney General surmised that Government is “contributing to unemployment” in the country.Meanwhile, in July 2015 that the Surinamese beverage company, RUDISA International NV, agreed to slash over US$1 million off of the settlement awarded by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to be repaid by the Government of Guyana for taxes it had imposed on imported beverage bottles. This was down from the US$7.72 million (G$1.6 billion) that the CCJ ordered Guyana to pay the beverage company.